It was an enthralling encounter with two young, exciting sides in Chelsea and Ajax. With 55 minutes on the clock and the Dutch giants 4-1 up, only few could imagine a light at the end of the tunnel for the Blues.
With Hakim Ziyech and Van de Beek posing as leaders of the ochestra, stringing out passes and organizing plays that outclassed Chelsea in every department, not even Lampard could imagine that his side could possibly turn the game on its head.
In the twinkle of an eye, Ajax had their two centre-backs in Daley Blind and Joel Veltman sent off; all in the same move.
Lampard moved to replace the poor performing Marcos Alonso with 19-year-old Reece James who scored the last goal to make it 4-4.
With Ajax short by 2 men and Chelsea piling up pressure on them, it was only a matter of time they gave in.
Jorginho got a penalty for Veltman handling the ball and converted with such confidence as has onky been demonstrated by Premier League’s best penalty takers – James Milner and Luka Milivojevic.
Cesar Azpiculueta then dispatched the third beautifully before James levelled matters at the Stamford Bridge.
It was indeed an absurd night for Ajax. They had played beautifully well in all departments before walking stylishly to press the self-destruct button. Chelsea who were woeful in long stretches of the game, took advantage of the red cards to secure their place as joint-toppers of their Champions league group.
They are now level on point with Ajax and Valencia with only two games left to play. What a tough group that’s turning out to be!
Chelsea were asking for trouble of Ajax with a defence that had leak holes all around it. They’d be grateful to both Blind for Veltman for opting to receive marching orders, a move which helped them secure a draw.
Chelsea 4-4 Ajax