Chelsea vs Ajax: ‘I don’t think I have been in a game like that,’ says Frank Lampard

Blues fought back from 4-1 down to draw at Stamford Bridge

Alex Pattle@alex_pattle
Tuesday 05 November 2019 23:58
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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said he has never been involved in a match like the Blue’s 4-4 Champions League draw with Ajax before.

Chelsea, who trailed 4-1 early in the second half at Stamford Bridge, fought back to draw with Ajax after the visitors had two men sent off in Daley Blind and Joel Veltman.

The match also had two penalties – both scored by Chelsea’s Jorginho – and two own goals – one by the hosts’ goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and one by their striker Tammy Abraham.

“I can’t explain the game,” Lampard said.

“For all the things we might analyse back, the madness of the game, we are here for entertainment I suppose and anyone who watched that has to say: What a game of football.

“Respect to Ajax, what a spectacle. I don’t think I have been in a game like it. The two own goals were the story of the first half. I said at half time it will be 3-3 or 4-4, we were so in the game.

“We looked dangerous and I felt we would build momentum. I am not happy overall, this is the Champions League and we made too many mistakes.

“The biggest pleasure is the spirit the whole stadium showed.”

Lampard declined to comment on the red cards received by Blind and Veltman, both of which came after the Ajax men were shown second yellows. Veltman’s second booking was a result of dissent, while Blind’s was due to a challenge on Abraham.

“At half time I would have taken a draw for sure,” Lampard said. “Let’s take it as what it was. I was expecting somewhere towards 10 minutes of added time, not sure where four came from.”

It was Abraham’s own goal that opened the scoring just two minutes in before Jorginho equalised with his first penalty of the night soon after. Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek extended the visitors’ lead either side of half-time and either side of Kepa’s own goal, but Cesar Azpilicueta gave Chelsea a lifeline just after the hour mark.

Then, following Ajax’s red cards, Jorginho netted his second penalty. But it was 19-year-old Reece James who rescued the draw for the home side with 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

“It was a crazy game,” James said. ”They were hard to break down and we took adavantage of them going down to nine men.

“It was a shame we couldn’t win. Scoring a goal is a bonus – the manager told me to come on and liven the boys up.

“We had chances to win it, but from where we were at half-time, it’s a good result.”

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