Chelsea's players celebrate with their supporters after making the score 4-4 during the UEFA Champion's League Group H football match between Chelsea and Ajax at Stamford Bridge in London.
Chelsea's players celebrate with their supporters after making the score 4-4 during the UEFA Champion's League Group H football match between Chelsea and Ajax at Stamford Bridge in London.
Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP

London: 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.

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 said.

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.

Liverpool win

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. "The plan was to win the game and we did that, so job done," admitted Klopp.

Barcelona stumble

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 haven't 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.

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