Jorginho scored two penalties as Chelsea came roaring back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with nine-man Ajax in a Champions League classic on Tuesday, while holders Liverpool claimed a narrow victory and a stuttering Barcelona were held. There was also a rousing comeback win for Borussia Dortmund over Inter Milan and a big success for Valencia, but the greatest drama came at Stamford Bridge. Ajax appeared to be heading for a stunning victory when Hakim Ziyech set up Donny van de Beek to put them 4-1 ahead 10 minutes into the second half.
Before that, Jorginho quickly levelled from the spot after Tammy Abraham’s own goal gave the Dutch champions a second-minute lead, but a Quincy Promes header and a Kepa Arrizabalaga own goal made it 3-1 at the break.
After conceding again, Cesar Azpilicueta poked in from close range for Chelsea to pull it back to 4-2, and then came the crazy moment midway through the second half which really gave them hope.
In one fell swoop, Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi sent off Ajax’s Daley Blind and dismissed Joel Veltman for a second caution for a handball in the box seconds later. Jorginho then converted the resulting penalty.
Teenager Reece James made it 4-4, and Chelsea thought they had gone in front when Azpilicueta fired in, but that goal was disallowed for an Abraham handball.
“I can’t explain the game. 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,” Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BT Sport.
The result means Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia are level on seven points atop Group H, with the Spaniards coming from behind to beat Lille 4-1.
Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen put Lille ahead at half-time, but Dani Parejo’s penalty restored parity and Valencia then scored three times in the last eight minutes.
Adama Soumaoro’s own goal was followed by a stunning Geoffrey Kondogbia strike and a Ferran Torres effort. Lille are eliminated.