Chelsea, Ajax draw 4-4 as Barcelona stumble in Champions League – FRANCE 24 English

Chelsea, Ajax draw 4-4 as Barcelona stumble in Champions League - FRANCE 24 English
Night of big comebacks in Champions League as group leaders begin to emerge
Live #CHINA #Iraq France Africa Culture TV Shows Fight the Fake / Europe Chelsea, Ajax draw 4-4 as Barcelona stumble in Champions League Issued on: 06/11/2019 – 07:50

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 to a goalless draw.

RB Leipzig were dominant as they followed up on Saturdays eight-goal demolition of Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga by beating Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 away to stay top of Group G.Leipzigs captain, Diego Demme, put the visitors ahead with a dipping shot through a crowded penalty area in first-half stoppage time before Timo Werner found Emil Forsberg, who slipped the ball through to Marcel Sabitzer, and the Austrian took the ball past the goalkeeper, Mikhail Kerzhakov, with his first touch before slotting it into the net.

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.

Salzburgs teenage forward Erling Braut Haaland continued his prolific season by putting the Austrian champions ahead from a penalty, his seventh goal in four games in Group E and his 23rd of the season in all competitions. Hirving Lozano equalised with a superb strike one minute before half-time but, despite carving out more openings in the second half, Carlo Ancelottis side missed their chance to book a knockout-stage place with two games to spare.

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.

The home side went ahead with an own-goal from the Lille defender Adama Soumaoro before Geoffrey Kondogbia stretched Valencias lead two minutes later with an outstanding long-distance strike, and the substitute Ferran Torres rounded off the win with a coolly taken finish in the 90th minute.

Before that, Jorginho quickly levelled from the spot after Tammy Abrahams 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.

With Luis Suárez injured, Barça lacked a cutting edge and the visiting goalkeeper, Ondrej Kolar, produced an admirable display to shut out the Catalan side, thwarting Lionel Messi and Sergi Roberto from close range in the second half.

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.

The Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen gave the French side a deserved lead in the 25th minute but Valencia drew level in the 65th minute with a panenka penalty from their captain, Dani Parejo.

In one fell swoop, Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi sent off Ajaxs 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.

Barcelonas patchy form continued as they failed to break down a diligent and bold Slavia Prague side and were held to a 0-0 home draw in their Champions League Group F game on Tuesday.

“I cant 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.

Lautaro Martínez and Matías Vecino fired Inter into a 2-0 first-half lead before Dortmund came storming back with Hakimi scoring either side of a Julian Brandt effort.

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.

Napoli gave another erratic performance as they hit the woodwork twice, wasted a hatful of chances and looked shaky at the back in a 1-1 draw at home to RB Salzburg.

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen put Lille ahead at half-time, but Dani Parejos penalty restored parity and Valencia then scored three times in the last eight minutes.

Lyon revived their hopes of reaching the last 16 when first-half goals by Joachim Andersen and Memphis Depay helped secure a 3-1 win over Benfica.

Adama Soumaoros own goal was followed by a stunning Geoffrey Kondogbia strike and a Ferran Torres effort. Lille are eliminated.

Liverpool won 4-1 in Genk two weeks ago and looked on course for another comfortable victory against the Belgians when Georginio Wijnaldum gave them the lead at Anfield.

Valencia breathed life into their hopes of qualifying for the last 16 with a stunning second-half turnaround to beat Lille 4-1.

However, with manager Jurgen Klopp resting several players ahead of this weekends clash with Manchester City, the reigning European champions were pegged back.

Tanzanian striker Mbwana Ally Samatta headed Genk level before the interval, and it took a fine strike by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to win the game.

Liverpool are top of Group E, a point above Napoli, who could have qualified for the last 16 with a win against Salzburg but were held to a 1-1 draw.

Erling Braut Haalands early penalty — the 19-year-olds seventh Champions League goal this season — gave Salzburg the lead, before Hirving Lozano equalised.

In Germany, Inter looked to be heading for a second straight win against Dortmund as they raced into a 2-0 half-time lead with Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino scoring.

Yet Dortmund fought back in the second half to win the game as Achraf Hakimi grabbed a brace either side of a Julian Brandt goal.

It is a result that leaves Dortmund second in Group F, three points ahead of Inter and one behind Barcelona, who are still top despite a 0-0 draw at home to Slavia Prague.

Lionel Messi almost scored one of his finest goals, hitting the woodwork at the end of an exhilarating run in the first half.

Barcelona had not failed to score in a home Champions League group game in seven years and this result followed a shock weekend defeat at Levante.

“We havent been convincing, either on Saturday or today, and we know there is a lot of pressure now on the team. We have to respond,” said coach Ernesto Valverde.

RB Leipzig top Group G after goals by Diego Demme and Marcel Sabitzer gave the Germans a 2-0 win at Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Joachim Andersen and Bertrand Traore scored for Lyon either side of a goal from Memphis Depay, who has now netted in all four Champions League games this season. Haris Seferovic scored for Benfica.

On a night of big comebacks in the Champions League, Borussia Dortmund came from two goals down to beat Inter Milan 3-2 Tuesday while Chelsea erased a three-goal deficit to draw 4-4 against nine-man Ajax.

Napoli fluffed a chance to qualify for the knockout stage after drawing 1-1 home at home to Salzburg, while defending champion Liverpool held on for a 2-1 win against Belgian side Genk at Anfield.

Five-time champion Barcelona couldn't score at all, with star striker Lionel Messi hitting the crossbar and having a late shot saved by standout goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar in 0-0 draw with visiting Slavia Prague.

Barcelona remains top of Group F with eight points and Dortmund is only one behind. But Inter has only four and is facing elimination.

While Messi failed to add to his whopping total of 113 goals in Europe's top club competition, Salzburg's 19-year-old rising star Erling Haaland made it seven in four games with an early penalty only for Hirving Lozano to equalize for Napoli just before halftime.

Memphis Depay continued his scoring form as Lyon beat Benfica 3-1 to stay in touch with group rival Leipzig, which tops Group G by two points after winning 2-0 at Zenit St. Petersburg.

Group H is up in the air, with Valencia beating Lille 4-1 to join Ajax and Chelsea on seven points with two rounds remaining.

Chelsea fell behind after two minutes, then trailed 4-1 after 55, yet almost won on a wild night at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's comeback charge was helped by Ajax — last season's semifinalist — playing the final 20 minutes with nine men after defender Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were sent off in quick succession.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham's own goal gave Ajax a second-minute lead before Jorginho equalized with his first of two penalties.

Quincy Promes put Ajax in front with a header while another Chelsea own goal — this time by goalkeeper Kepa — and midfielder Donny van de Beek's strike gave Ajax a three-goal cushion.

Defender Cesar Azpilicueta pulled a goal back in the 63rd and Jorginho notched his second penalty in the 71st — awarded in the same sequence that saw both Blind and Veltman handed a second yellow card — to set up a rousing finish.

Chelsea even thought it had scored a late winner through Azpilicueta, but the goal was ruled out for a handball by Abraham after a video review.

Valencia won with four goals in the last 25 minutes after trailing to Lille striker Victor Osimhen's 25th-minute strike.

Valencia equalized with a 66th-minute penalty converted by Dani Parejo — Panenka style — and hosts went ahead with an own goal by defender Adama Soumaoro.

Kolar kept Barcelona at bay with a string of fine saves, denying Messi with his legs in the 79th having earlier saved from the star forward and also from Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.

Although Barca extended its record unbeaten streak in Europe's top club competition to 34 consecutive home matches, the Czech side looked sharp on the counterattack and forced eight corners.

A day after turning 21, defender Achraf Hakimi — who is on loan from Real Madrid — scored twice and grabbed Dortmund's winner in the 77th minute after Inter led 2-0 at halftime thanks to goals from Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino.

Hakimi kick-started Dortmund's comeback in the 51st minute and Julian Brandt equalized in the 64th.

After scoring twice in a 4-1 win away to Genk two weeks ago, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the winner for group leader Liverpool.

Fellow midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum grabbed Liverpool's first goal in the 14th and, after Ally Mbwana Samatta levelled with a header shortly before halftime, Oxlade-Chamberlain struck in the 53rd.

In Italy, Haaland's 23rd goal in 17 competitive matches this season silenced the Napoli crowd. But Lozano then scored his first home goal for Napoli.

Leipzig moved to the verge of qualifying from the group stage for the first time, even with star forward Timo Werner only used as a substitute on a freezing night in St. Petersburg.

Leipzig's breakthrough came on the stroke of halftime when midfielder Diego Demme hammered in a rebound after Marcel Sabitzer's free kick hit the wall. Sabitzer made it 2-0 midway through the second half.

Memphis Depay scored for the fourth straight Champions League game and then went off at halftime with an apparent thigh strain.

The Netherlands forward volleyed home in the 33rd minute from midfielder Houssem Aouar's cross from the left to make it 2-0 after imposing centre half Joachim Andersen netted an early header.

Benfica striker Haris Seferovic pulled a goal back in the 76th, but Lyon substitute Bertrand Traore made sure of the win in the 89th.

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