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Chelsea second string pegged back in stoppage by stunning Zenit volley

A much-changed Chelsea were denied by Zenit St Petersburg in added on time in a pulsating final Champions League group match in Russia on Wednesday night, which ended 3-3.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel made eight changes to their starting line-up in Russia. The Blues had already qualified for the last-16 stage before their final Group H encounter. Andreas Christensen, Reece James and Mason Mount were the only three to start again following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham.

Romelu Lukaku started up front and he scored, along with two goals for Timo Werner as Chelsea fought back from 2-1 down to take a draw.

The Blues made an electric start. Werner tapped in after a corner to hand Chelsea a 1-0 lead inside 90 seconds.

Christensen got the flick on at the near post and Werner was there at the back post to make it 1-0.

Malcom then saw a shot blocked by Saul. But Zenit came forward again and after Malcom found space in the box, his low shot was saved by Kepa.

A minute later Claudinho crossed for Azmoun, whose header was just wide of Kepa’s right-hand post.

But Zenit did level on 38 minutes through Claudinho. Douglas crossed into the box from deep on the left and Claudinho headed in at the near post.

And three minutes later Zenit were ahead. Malcom split the Chelsea defence and put Azmoun through on goal and he rounded Kepa to make it 2-1.

Lukaku tried to play in Werner 10 minutes after the restart, but the pass was blocked. It fell to Saul, but Kerzhakov repelled the shot.

That is a superb team move from Chelsea!

The ball starts with Kepa, Werner breaks the line with a brilliant one-two before putting it on a plate for Romelu Lukaku

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2021

But the Blues did equalise on 62 minutes through Lukaku. Werner and Barkley played a fine one-two on the edge of the box. It came back to Werner, who teed up Lukaku to tap into an empty net.

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Super-sub Pulisic

And 10 minutes later Kepa did brilliantly to stop the hosts going back into the lead after Chelsea failed to clear a corner.


Azmoun rose highest to get on the end of a cross from Claudinho, but Kepa made a fantastic save to tip it around the post for another corner.

Zenit remained on the front foot and Krugovoy raced to the byline and cut the ball back for Azmoun. Fortunately though for Chelsea he collided with Malang Sarr in the box and the danger was averted.

Chelsea threatened themselves on 84 minutes when sub Christian Pulisic beats Krugovoy at the second time of asking and crossed to the far post. Werner was waiting but his header was weak and Kerzhakov saved.

But the Blues were ahead a minute later, with Pulisic setting up Werner once more. This time, after Pulisic had played in the German, he smashed a low shot straight past Kerzhakov and into the net.

But just as it looked as though Chelsea had done enough, Magomed Ozdoev popped up in stoppage time to make it 3-3.

Sarr could only head the ball to Ozdoev and he hammered a volley straight into the top corner. 

READ MORE: Chelsea dream revealed for ‘courageous’ Bundesliga star worth eight-figure sum

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