Frank Lampard was not happy about the amount of added time at the end of the game as Chelsea came from behind to draw 4-4 with Ajax on Tuesday night.
Ajax, semi-finalists last season, were in control and looked on course for victory when Donny van de Beek gave them a three-goal advantage 10 minutes after the break – but in a chaotic closing period Chelsea completed a remarkable recovery as the visitors completely lost their discipline.
Tammy Abraham’s own goal gave Ajax an early lead and even though Chelsea were quickly on terms through Jorginho’s penalty, they were in trouble at half-time after Quincy Promes headed in a brilliant cross from the impressive Hakim Ziyech, who then saw his free-kick inadvertently deflected in by keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Van de Beek looked to have settled matters but Cesar Azpilicueta pulled one back for Chelsea, before Ajax lost Daley Blind and Joel Veltman within a minute to second yellow cards – with the dismissals followed by a penalty which Jorginho scored again to set up a crazy finale.
Reece James then pulled Chelsea level and Azpilicueta thought he had scored the winner, only for the video assistant referee to intervene and detect a handball by Abraham.
And after the game, Lampard said: “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.
“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. I can’t give you much on the red cards, I didn’t really see what they were for.
“At half time I would have taken a draw for sure. Let’s take it as what it was. I was expecting somewhere towards 10 minutes of added time, not sure where four came from.”