Chelsea Salvages against Nine-man Ajax with 4-4 draw

Chelsea fought back from 4-1 down to salvage a 4-4 draw against nine-man Ajax as a memorable night at Stamford Bridge left both sides with work to do to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

Frank Lampard’s men seemed destined for a second straight home defeat in Europe as first-half own goals from Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga added to Quincy Promes’ header and a predatory finish from Donny Van der Beek to hand the Dutch champions a 4-1 lead.

However, after Cesar Azpilicueta brought Chelsea back into the game at 4-2, the visitors were reduced to nine men by second yellow cards for Daley Blind and Joel Veltman in the move that led to the hosts being awarded their second penalty of the night.

Jorginho had briefly brought Chelsea level at 1-1 from the spot in the first half and converted once more.

Reece James then leveled for the Blues and only VAR denied Chelsea a famous victory when Azpilicueta’s strike was ruled out for a handball by Abraham.

Both sides are now locked on seven points at top of Group H with Valencia, who were 4-1 winners over Lille.

Chelsea had won their previous seven Premier and Champions League games with Lampard’s young side earning rave reviews for their attacking intent.

The former England international hailed his side’s 1-0 victory in Amsterdam two weeks ago as the best of his Chelsea tenure to date for the way they added a defensive resolve to their attacking verve.

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