Ajax were leading 4-1 at Chelsea on Tuesday night but after a crazy second half they were forced to settle for a 4-4 draw with nine men.

Ajax headed to London looking for revenge after the 1-0 loss to Chelsea in Amsterdam two weeks ago. Erik ten Hag decided to go with an attacking eleven that saw Hakim Ziyech play in midfield, while David Neres was on the wing.

Less than two minutes in, Ajax had the lead when Quincy Promes swung a free-kick towards goal and Tammy Abraham diverted the ball into his own net.

However, Chelsea hit back immediately with Joel Veltman conceding a penalty, which Jorginho netted. Abraham had the ball in the right net soon afterwards but his effort was disallowed for offside.

In the 20th minute, Ajax regained their lead as Hakim Ziyech found Promes in the box with a sensational cross and the winger nodded in from close range.

Ziyech then made it 3-1 in the 35th minute with a curling free-kick from a difficult angle that found the net via the post and the face of Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa.

It could have been 4-1 before the break as Ajax found themselves with plenty of space around the Chelsea box but Lisandro Martinez snatched at his shot and the ball went over the bar.

Chelsea made a quick start to the second half with Kurt Zouma blasting over the bar after an excellent run towards goal. Andre Onana was then called into action to deny Abraham, who raced clear on goal.

In the 55th minute, Ajax made it 4-1 when Donny van de Beek was found in the box and the midfielder’s low strike found the bottom corner.

Eight minutes later, Chelsea pulled one back when César Azpilicueta, on the verge of offside, tapped in from close range.

Everything then went wrong for Ajax in the 68th minute. Daley Blind already on a yellow was knocked off balance and in his attempt to recover the ball, he clattered into a late challenge. Play went on and a strike from outside the box was blocked by Joel Veltman. When the ball went dead, Blind was shown a second yellow for his challenge and then Veltman was also sent off for handball, for which Chelsea were awarded a penalty.

Jorginho scored the spot kick to make it 3-4 and from that point Ajax were forced to sit deep. Chelsea quickly equalised when the ball came back off the crossbar and Reece James slotted in the rebound.

Azpilicueta then thought he had made it 5-4 but his goal was ruled out by VAR for handball.

Ajax dug deep and defended excellently for the remaining time. They even had the chance to win the game but Edson Alvarez could not find a way past Kepa from the edge of the box.

The point means Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia are all sitting on seven points in the group. Next up for Ajax is an away tie against Lille on the 27th of November.




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