Chelsea grab huge win late on at Ajax
Chelsea beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam on Wednesday, as substitute Michy Batshuayi scored the winner off a Christian Pulisic assist.
[ MORE: How did Pulisic perform? ]
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea now sit top in Group H, leapfrogging Ajax. The hosts hit the post in the second half and were the better team for vast swathes of the game and until Pulisic and Batshuayi came off the bench to cause havoc late on in the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The UEFA Champions League semifinalists from last season had now answer to a mature Chelsea display, as the Blues’ attacking options off the bench made the difference in their sixth-straight win in all competitions.
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Ajax started well with and had a penalty shout for handball waved away, then Joel Veltman drilled a shot just wide.
In an end-to-end encounter Mason Mount cut inside but his shot at the near post was saved as the Blues looked dangerous on the counter.
After a poor defensive clearance the ball fell to Hudson-Odoi but he hurried his shot and wasted a glorious chance.
Ajax thought they had taken the lead before half time as Hakim Ziyech’s cross deflected to the back post where Quincy Promes tapped home. After a delay via VAR, the goal was disallowed as Promes was just, just offside.
Promes was in again moments later after good work from USMNT right back Sergino Dest but Cesar Azpilicueta recovered well to block his effort.
In the second half Dusan Tadic was a growing force in the game as Chelsea were pinned back by Ajax.
Edson Alvarez hit the far post with a superb diving header from a corner and moments later Daley Blind forced Kepa into a save.
Christian Pulisic came on for Willian for the final stages as Chelsea tried to regain control of the game and that is what he did for them.
Pulisic cut in from the left time and time against Ajax, getting past Dest to send a shot just wide and a deflected effort then fell to Batshuayi who sent his effort way off target from a glorious position.
🔥🇺🇸🔥 Christian Pulisic beats his #USMNT teammate Sergino Dest and puts it on a plate for Michy Batshuayi to score the winner for Chelsea at #Ajax.— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) October 23, 2019
HUGEEEE momentsfor the American winger. Pulisic made a massive difference for #CFC off the bench. pic.twitter.com/sTZE8C8nHZ
But Pulisic then set up the winning goal as he beat Dest on the dribbled and pulled it back for Batshuayi to hammer home the winner as the subs combined to secure a sixth-straight win in all competitions for Lampard, and his biggest yet as Chelsea’s manager.