Chelsea came back from three goals down to secure a 4-4 draw against a nine-man Ajax team in a pulsating encounter at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Ajax were off the blocks very early, as a Quincy Promes free-kick ended up in the Chelsea net via a deflection off of Tammy Abraham. The Blues struck back almost immediately, with Jorginho converting from the penalty spot after Christian Pulisic was fouled in the box. The parity did not last long as Promes made it 2-1 for Ajax, nodding home a Hakim Ziyech cross.
Ajax doubled their advantage in the 35th minute when Ziyech’s free-kick hit the inside of the post and bounced off Kepa Arrizabalaga’s face and into the net. And when Donny van de Beek struck ten minutes after the restart, it seemed like game over for Chelsea.
However, Chelsea rallied back as captain Cesar Azpilicueta pulled one goal back, before Jorginho successfully dispatched his second penalty of the night after Ajax had seen Daley Blind and Joel Veltman get sent off. Substitute Reece James levelled things up three minutes later to send Stamford Bridge into a frenzy.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 5, 2019
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Chelsea stars on an action-packed night at the Bridge.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 4/10
Beaten too easily for the opening goal from Promes’ free-kick despite the deflection from Abraham and then misjudged the flight of the ball entirely from Ziyech’s free-kick on his way to score an own goal. Didn’t have much of a chance for the other two goals and did make a good save from Edson Alvarez, but needs to do better when facing set-pieces.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6.5/10
A difficult first half for the Chelsea captain who had a rough time against Promes. Conceded the free-kick leading to the opener and then was beaten easily by Promes for Ajax’s second. Moved to left-back after the break and turned things around, scoring the second goal for Chelsea to start the comeback. Thought he’d won it late on, but saw the goal rightly ruled out.
Kurt Zouma: 6/10
The Frenchman was part of the Chelsea defence that was all over the place early on in the game. But, Zouma improved drastically after the half-time break as he showed great spirit and determination. Went on a long, mazy run, dribbling past opponents, but the shot at the end was poor. Hit the crossbar with his header, the rebound from which was converted by James to make it 4-4.
Fikayo Tomori: 4/10
Arguably Tomori’s worst display in a Chelsea shirt till date. Was dragged out of position many a time, as he tried to cover for Alonso, while he wasn’t always switched on during the set-pieces from which Chelsea conceded. Went on to lose the ball in a dangerous area leading to the visitors’ fourth goal. A learning curve for the Englishman, who will only get better from the experience.
Marcos Alonso: 3/10
Back into the team after sitting out the weekend clash, the Spaniard was in for a horrible outing as he was all over the place defensively. Conceded the free-kick that led to Ajax’s third goal with a needless foul, while he was a major letdown in the attacking side of things as well. Hooked off at half-time by Frank Lampard and rightly so.
Showed great calmness and composure to dispatch not one, but two brilliant penalties on the night. Had his task cut out against the intensity of this Ajax side, but always tried to direct play forward with his sharp passing and was a leader on the field when Chelsea needed one when they had their backs against the wall.
Jorginho's stats v. Ajax:
57 passes completed
92% pass accuracy
2 chances created
2/3 tackles won
9 ball recoveries
4 shots, 2 on target
— statmanfarouq (@statmanfarouq) November 5, 2019
Mateo Kovacic: 7/10
Another hard-working, industrious performance from the Croatian international who has made sure Chelsea haven’t missed N’Golo Kante a great deal in recent weeks. Drove forward from the midfield at every possible occasion as he looked to put his team on the front foot and kept fighting till the final whistle.
A fairly quiet first half from the experienced Brazilian, who did not offer a lot of threat when on the ball. Improved slightly after the break, more so after Ajax were reduced to nine men, but still lacked that bit of quality to make a telling impact on the night.
Mason Mount: 4/10
A disappointing night on the field for the England international who never really managed to get into the game. Little worked for Mount as he struggled to make things happen, before hobbling off injured around the hour mark.
Christian Pulisic: 7/10
The USMNT international was without a doubt Chelsea’s brightest player in the first half. Pulisic won the first penalty for the Blues after a piercing run into the Ajax penalty box and was chiefly involved in the lead-up to Chelsea’s second goal as well. Drove at the opposition players with purpose and always tried to make things happen. Is growing with each passing game.
Tammy Abraham: 5.5/10
Scored an unfortunate own goal in the opening minutes and spent the rest of the game trying to redeem himself. Had a goal chalked off for offside. Did not stop running all night long, making himself a bit of a nuisance for the visitors to deal with. Might not have got a goal, but worked his socks off.
Reece James: 7/10
Replacing Alonso at half-time, the 19-year-old slotted in at right-back with Azpilicueta moving to the left. Added more energy and urgency to Chelsea’s play down the right side and scored the all-important equaliser to rescue a point for his side.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6.5/10
Came on for the injured Mount in the 60th minute and was a lively presence on the field. His shot was handled in the box leading to Chelsea’s second penalty.
Michy Batshuayi: N/A
Thrown on for Kovacic late in the game. Had a couple of half-decent chances to fire his team to a win, but couldn’t take them.