Frank Lampard picks out 5 players for praise after ‘mad’ Ajax draw

I guess the best way you can describe Chelsea’s 4-4 Champions League draw with Ajax is ‘mad’, especially after the Blues came back from being 4-1 down with time running out.

It was one of those matches that was fantastic for the neutral football fans, but one of massive roller coaster of emotions for Chelsea and Ajax fans!

Chelsea showed fantastic spirit to bring the game back to 4-4 and their second half display was excellent, they looked like a totally different team to the sloppy one that started the game and went in 3-1 down at half time.

Frank Lampard was understandably full of mixed emotions when talking about the match afterwards. He was pleased with the desire shown and the fact they managed to claw it back, but also saw some concerning errors and sloppiness that he needs to get sorted out.

Speaking after the match, as reported by the Chelsea website, Lampard said:

“I’m relieved from the position of half-time.

“I told the players at half-time I thought we could draw the game 3-3, win it 4-3 or it might be 4-4.

“The moments we conceded in the first half were a mixture of sloppiness, and also some bad fortune. I felt we were in the game because of our pressing off the ball.

“We just needed a bit more in the final third, and we needed to lift the spirit of the stadium.

“I’m delighted with that part of it. We are a probably a bit disappointed in the end not to win it, but in the cold light of day we were 4-1 down, so it was a good result on those terms.

“It was a mad one. Chelsea fans know the stories we had in the Champions League. I don’t think there are many you can compare it to in our day. I know we had a 4-4 with Liverpool, and some other crazy games.

“It’s hard to put in perspective, I will have to watch it back, but for the spectacle it was it’s right up there.

“Take VAR out of it, and the red cards. What I have to think about is us. The spirit we showed, the character, is something I loved and I think the fans loved.

“We need to tighten up for sure, but with that spirit we can go places.

“For a performance like today you need characters, personalities. It would have been easy to turn it in at 4-1 down and give it up, but we never did.

“The experienced players drove the team: Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Azpilicueta. Those players really pushed tonight and I loved it.

“Reece [James] is a fantastic young player. He gives what you saw, and he will get much better because he’s 19.

“I felt we needed to change to get a bit more for us on the right-hand side. Reece can deliver crosses with great quality. He’s powerful and joins in.

“He knows we have Azpi there, our captain, but there are things we can do to change sometimes.

“He’s going to be a top player for the club. He’s got great quality.

“When you look at the modern full-back, the requirement to go forward and be a threat, hopefully Reece can do that for us.”