November 11, 2019
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‘Welcome to the memes club‘: Chelsea ‘keeper Kepa mocked after scoring own goal with his face in thriller vs Ajax (VIDEO) A madcap UEFA Champions League encounter between Chelsea and Ajax witnessed one of the more bizarre own goals the competition has seen in its recent history as the London club fought back to claim a 4-4 draw with nine-man Ajax.

It was a bizarre night in West London. Eight goals, two red cards, two penalties, two own goals and a slew of controversial VAR decisions contributed to a level of drama one might expect to see over the course of an entire Champions League campaign. Instead, it was all packed into 90 minutes.

The Dutch side, who were minutes away from qualifying for last season‘s final, opened the scoring two minutes into the game when Tammy Abraham deflected a free kick into his own net.

Jorginho levelled from the spot moments later but two further goals from Ajax before half-time signalled that they hadn‘t travelled to Stamford Bridge to roll over – the second of which came courtesy of the unluckiest of own goals for Chelsea‘s Spanish netminder Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Hakim Ziyech lofted a free kick from the Chelsea‘s left flank towards the far post and with Kepa scrambling to watch the flight of the ball, it struck the post and rebounded off the unlucky goalkeeper‘s face and into the goal. 

A further Ajax strike from Donny van de Beek 10 minutes after halftime appeared to signal Chelsea‘s death knell before Chelsea pulled anther back. But another hugely controversial moment came five minutes later when the Dutch champions were reduced to NINE men in the span of a few seconds when both Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were issued second yellow cards for fouls during a Chelsea breakaway.

Undeterred by their numerical disadvantage (and another Jorginho penalty), Ajax continued to push forward in pursuit of a fifth. Instead it was Chelsea who levelled proceedings with a goal from teenage fullback Reece James – and incredibly, they nearly won it when captain Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had poked him a winner only for it to be ruled out for foul play. 

It was a breathless encounter between two of Europe‘s most entertaining young teams and a true antidote for the cautious approach which can sometimes render games like this as cagey affairs. Just don‘t expect to see a a fixture with this blockbuster level of drama again for quite a while.

Conrad Contributor

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