Ajax furious by "insane" match against Chelsea; 4-4 tie

Ajax football flag Amsterdam
The flag of Amsterdam football club Ajax. (rendering: alexeynovikov / DepositPhotos)

Ajax and Chelsea tied 4-4 in a crazy Champions League match on Tuesday. The Amsterdam team led 1-4 until they received two red cards on one play early in the second half. The team is furious, coach Erik Ten Hag and various players said to NOS. 

The first goals for both teams were scored within the first minutes of the match - an own goal by Tammy Abraham and a penalty by Jorginho. During the rest of the first half, Quincy Promes and Hakim Ziyech brought Ajax to 1-3. Shortly after the break, Donny van de Beek made it 1-4 and the match seemed to be decided.

But then followed a bizarre second half. Cesar Azpilicueta scored a second goal for Chelsea, and Joel Veltman and Daley Blind both got red cards for the same play. With just nine men on the Amsterdam side, Chelsea managed to score two more goals and tie with Ajax. 

"In one moment the entire match turned upside down. In Amsterdam, the arbitration was already wrong and now again. Unfair", coach Ten Hag said to NOS, referring to Ajax suffering its first loss in the Champions League when a goal by Quincy Promes against Chelsea was rejected by the video assistant referee (VAR). "I saw that there was an offense against Daley before his tackle, in which he received his second yellow. And I think Joel had his hands neatly against his body at that penalty moment." 

"This was an insane match. I feel like we were disadvantaged. We have to process this", Ten Hag said. But despite the disappointment, he is still proud of his team. "I think we played great. Both with eleven and with nine."

Dusan Tadic is furious. "We must be angry. Someone has destroyed our match", he said to Veronica. "I've never seen anything like it. I still have to check it, but I don't think it is possible to get two red cards in the same action. That made it a different game. We had everything under control, we were better and we should have won this match. But that is not possible with nine men."

"A shame", Joel Veltman called referee Gianluca Rocchi's decision to red card him. "I think I kept my arm close to my body. The referee told me beforehand that this is possible", Veltman said to Veronica. "If he wants to give a penalty, which I did not understand at all, then it is not yellow. We were 100 percent fucked. I never experienced anything like this."

Quincy Promes agrees that anger is the prevailing emotion at Ajax. "But we must try to look at the glass as half full. No matter how hard it is, with nine men we managed to prevent a point in this game."

Both Ajax and Chelsea now have seven points after four matches in Group H of the Champions League. Valencia now also stands on seven points, after defeating Lille 4-1 in the other pool match. 

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