The soccer news starts with USMNT player Christian Pulisic once again playing a role in an unlikely draw for Chelsea in the Champions League. Chelsea drew 4-4 with Ajax at Stamford Bridge, with Pulisic setting up the penalty that leveled the score at 1-1. From there, a game that had already taken an odd turn took several more with Chelsea eventually finding an equalizer and another point in the Champions League group stage.
Ajax went ahead from a 2nd-minute own-goal. With Pulisic brought down in the box, Jorginho converted the 4th minute penalty to level the score. Ajax went ahead in the 20th minute and another own-goal made it 3-1 in the 35th. By the 55th, it was 4-1 with the game seemingly out of reach for Chelsea.
Cesar Azpilicueta pulled a goal back in the 63rd. With the score 4-2, Ajax center back Daley Blind saw red in the 68th minute, giving up a penalty. His fellow center back Joel Veltman followed with a red of his own a minute later for arguing the call. Jorginho converted his second penalty of the game in the 71st minute to pull Chelsea within a goal. Chelsea equalized through a Reece James goal in the 74th minute. Azpilicueta thought he had Chelsea’s winner in the 78th, but VAR reversed the goal for a handball. Sergino Dest was on the bench for Ajax.
“It was a mad one,” Chelsea coach Frank Lampard said. “Chelsea fans know the stories we had in the Champions League. I don’t think there are many you can compare it to in our day. I know we had a 4-4 with Liverpool, and some other crazy games. It’s hard to put in perspective, I will have to watch it back, but for the spectacle it was it’s right up there. Take VAR out of it, and the red cards. What I have to think about is us. The spirit we showed, the character, is something I loved and I think the fans loved. We need to tighten up for sure, but with that spirit we can go places.”
The game was Christian Pulisic’s 24th in the Champions League, setting the new high mark for American soccer players at only 21 years-old. Pulisic was tied with Jermaine Jones going into Tuesday’s game. Ajax, Chelsea, and Valencia are now tied on 7 points after four games in Group H with Ajax in 1st-place on head-to-head points and Chelsea 2nd on head-to-head goal difference. Chelsea is at Valencia on matchday 5.
Also in the Champions League, Timothy Weah continues to recover from injury and missed Lille’s 4-1 loss at Valencia. Lille went ahead from a Victor Osimhen goal in the 25th minute. Valencia equalized from the penalty spot in the 66th and went ahead from an own-goal in the 82nd. They added goals in the 84th and 90th minutes. Lille is last in Group H, home to Ajax on matchday 5. Tyler Adams wasn’t in the squad for RB Leipzig’s 2-0 win at Zenit. Diego Demme scored in first-half stoppage time and Marcel Sabitzer doubled the lead in the 63rd minute.
Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg drew 1-1 at Napoli. Erling Haaland put Salzburg up from an 11th minute penalty with Napoli equalizing in the 43rd. Red Bull Salzburg is 3rd in Group E on 4 points from 4 games, trailing 2nd-place Napoli by 4 point and leaders Liverpool by 5.
Lynden Gooch wasn’t in the squad for Sunderland’s 2-1 home loss to Leicester City U-21s in the EFL Trophy. Luca de la Torre wasn’t in the squad for Fulham U21s 2-1 win at Wycombe Wanderers. Jose Torres wasn’t in the squad for Puebla’s 0-0 home draw with Cimarrones de Senora in the Copa MX group stage.
BBC Sport’s Shamoon Hafez has Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp continuing his push for changing the international calendar. DW on Bayern Munich’s situation as they look for their next coach. FourFourTwo has former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger linked with the Bayern Munich job. SI.com’s Grant Wahl looks at Barcelona’s academy that includes American Konrad de la Fuente.
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