Blues' qualification hopes hinge on final group game

          Chelsea conquer important point at Valencia

          2019/11/27 20:24
          By Daniel Oliveira

          Chelsea's bid to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase will go down to the wire after an entertaining 2-2 draw against Valencia on Wednesday night. 

          An eventful night at the Mestella Stadium saw Chelsea recover from an early deficit to lead by goals from Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic - only for Frank Lampard's side to be pegged back by a rather freakish strike from Valencia's Daniel Wass.

          Defensive changes

          Lampard made two changes from the XI that started in the 2-1 loss against Manchester City, as Andreas Christensen replaced Fikayo Tomori and Reece James came in for Emerson at right-back.

          A very exciting first-half in the Mestalla saw the hosts start the better of the two sides - Maxi Gomez missing two clear cut chances to let Chelsea off the hook.

          Chelsea almost took immediate advantage, Jasper Cillessen making the save of the night from a stabbed-volley from Tammy Abraham.

          It was Valencia who took the lead, however, the unmarked Carlos Soler turning home a cross from Rodrigo Moreno in the 40th minute to capitalise on some poor defending by the visitors.

          The Blues responded immediately, however: Kovacic with a 20-yard shot that found the bottom corner. However, the plus of going into the break on level terms was mitigated by a back injury that saw Abraham replaced by Michy Batshuayi. 

          Pulisic on target

          There was no let up in the action in the second-half. Christian Pulisic handed Chelsea the initiative when he scored from four yards out just five minutes after the interval - a VAR review confirming that the American was indeed onside.

          Chelsea then survived a scare when a brilliant save by Kepa denied Dani Parejo from the penalty spot.

          The West Londoners were unable to cling onto their advantage, however - Valencia's Daniel Wass drawing the hosts level with an intended cross that smacked onto the back post with Kepa looking culpable of misjudging the flight of the ball.

          Chelsea will now play at home against Lille, while Valencia travel to Amsterdam to play their final Group H encounter against Ajax.  

          In the other game of the afternoon, Zenit beat Ligue 1 outfit Lyon 2-0 thanks to goals from Artem Dzyuba and Magomed Ozdoev. Zenit and Lyon are now second and third respectively in Group G, both with seven points.


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          featured game(s)
          U Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - 17:55
          Felix Zwayer
          Carlos Soler 40'
          Daniel Wass 82'
          Mateo Kovacic 41'
          Christian Pulisic 50'