Michy Batshuayi strikes late to give Chelsea win at Ajax

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer

Substitute Michy Batshuayi scored a late winner at Ajax as Chelsea stunned last season’s Champions League semi-finalists in Amsterdam.

In an end-to-end first half Ajax had the ball in the back of the net before it was ruled out for offside by VAR, after Callum Hudson-Odoi sliced wide from 10 yards out with the best chance of the first 45 minutes.

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Edson Alvarez hit the post after the restart before substitute Michy Batshuayi blasted over with the goal at his mercy from eight yards out.

Batshuayi made amends for that miss with four minutes remaining as he smashed home off the underside of the crossbar to give Frank Lampard’s side all three points.

The Blues move top of Group H, level on points with Ajax who conceded their first goal in the Champions League this season.

Alvarez watches his header towards the post (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Alvarez watches his header towards the post (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Ajax made two changes ahead of kick-off with Edson Alvarez and Nicolas Tagliafico coming in for the hosts who were unbeaten since the Champions League semi-final loss to Tottenham last season.

Frank Lampard made just the one change from Chelsea’s win over Newcastle at the weekend with Mateo Kovacic coming in for the injured Ross Barkley.

After a fast and furious start it was Chelsea who had the first effort on target. Mason Mount picked up a sharp one-two on the left, cut inside and fired in a shot which Andre Onana did well to get down to his right and keep out.

It was end-to-end action in Amsterdam and on his full Champions League debut, it was Callum Hudson-Odoi who next came closest to opening the scoring.

The 18-year-old sliced it wide from 10 yards out after a poor defensive header fell straight at his feet.

Ajax had the ball in the back of the net when Quincy Promes turned in Hakim Ziyech‘s deflected cross, but after a check with VAR it was ruled out for offside. It was a very close call and a let off for Chelsea.

The home side continued to move the ball with pace, this time from right to left before Promes looked certain to make 1-0 but for Cesar Azpilicueta, who flew in with a perfectly-timed block to keep the scores level at the break.

Former Southampton striker Dusan Tadic was lucky not to have been sent off within three minutes of the restart. The 30-year-old got himself in a mess, clotheslined Willian to the ground and was only shown a yellow card for a shocking tackle.

Edson Alvarez hit the post on the hour mark with a brilliant flicked header from a corner, before Daley Blind’s well struck follow up was saved comfortably by Kepa.

With the game slowing down Christian Pulisic came on in place of Willian before Michy Batshuayi was given 20 minutes as Tammy Abraham came off.

Batshuayi almost made an immediate impact and he really should have scored. Pulisic’s effort was deflected into the path of the Belgian, he took it on his chest and blasted it over from eight yards out.

Batshuayi made amends for that miss in the 86th minute smashing home the winner off the underside of the crossbar. Pulisic did brilliantly to skip into the area and pull the ball back across the six-yard box, Marcos Alonso stepped over it and the 26-year-old rifled home the winner.

Next up for Chelsea in the Champions League will be the return leg against Ajax at Stamford Bridge on 5 November.

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