Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Valencia CF 2-2 Chelsea FC

Daniel Wass scored a fortuitous and crucial late equaliser for Valencia to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea on Wednesday in a thrilling contest that left Champions League Group H wide open.

Frank Lampard's men had looked on course to leave Mestalla with the victory that would have clinched their spot in the knockout phase after Christian Pulisic's go-ahead strike was added to by a Kepa Arrizabalaga penalty save, but Wass' effort led to a share of the spoils.

A dramatic, end-to-end first half saw both sides threaten regularly and, despite some wretched finishing, two goals in as many minutes from Carlos Soler and Mateo Kovacic – his first for Chelsea – meant the score was level at the interval.

Everything looked to be going Chelsea's way after Pulisic struck and Kepa parried Dani Parejo's penalty, but Wass' right-wing cross went straight in with eight minutes left to rescue Valencia, who would have won it but for an inexcusable stoppage-time miss by Rodrigo. 


Maxi Gomez let Chelsea off the hook twice in a wild first half, the Uruguayan completely missing the ball a few yards out for the first chance, before then shooting wide from a similarly presentable opportunity.

Soler made no such mistake after 40 minutes, however, turning in Rodrigo's cross a few moments after Jasper Cillessen acrobatically denied Tammy Abraham.

But he was helpless to prevent Kovacic swiftly equalising, the Croatian finding the bottom-left corner from 20 yards.

Chelsea were concerned to lose Abraham to injury at the interval, though that did not prevent them taking the lead in the 50th minute – Pulisic prodding in from close range after Kurt Zouma's knockdown, the goal allowed to stand after a lengthy VAR check for a potential offside.

Valencia failed to restore parity just past the hour when Kepa denied Parejo following a tangle involving Jorginho and Jose Gaya.

The hosts' persistence was rewarded when Wass' first-time cross late on went over Kepa and found the net, but that was where their luck ended, as Rodrigo incredibly missed the target from a few yards out in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

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