Football-Chelsea lose top spot after 3-3 draw at Zenit

Champions League - Group H - Zenit St Petersburg v Chelsea
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group H – Zenit St Petersburg v Chelsea – Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg, Russia – December 8, 2021 Aleksandr Erokhin of Zenit St Petersburg celebrates scoring his third goal with teammates REUTERS / Anton Vaganov

December 8, 2021

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Champions League owners Chelsea finished as runners-up in Group H after conceding an injury-time equalizer in a vibrant 3-3 draw at Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday.

The result leaves Chelsea second with 13 points from six games, behind leaders Juventus, who jumped to pole position with a 1-0 home win over Sweden’s Malmo.

Both sides have booked their last 16 berths while third place Zenit will enter the Europa League second tier after the winter break.

Chelsea got off to the perfect start as Timo Werner put them ahead in the second minute with a touch of the ball after Ross Barkley nodded in the corner.

Mason Mount squandered a keeper to double the lead after Zenit twice came close to equalizing and the England midfielder’s miss turned out to be costly as the hosts turned the game around with two quick goals.

Brazilian forward Claudinho leveled in the 38th minute with a header into the far corner after his compatriot Douglas Santos swung past a static visitors defense.

Tormented by the equalizer, 3 minutes later, Chelsea fell when Iran striker Sardar Azmoun broke the offside trap from Malcom’s penalty and hit Kepa Arrizabalaga’s net.

Romelu Lukaku headed back in the 62nd minute when he sent the ball into an empty net after a move and Chelsea seemed forced to make the final turn after Werner scored again in the 85th minute with a sharp one-touch pass. sharper.

The move flustered Zenit’s defence, as Christian Pulisic delivered the final pass to Werner, who unleashed a quick shot from 10 yards after stepping past his marker.

However, the Premier League side undone with a spectacular equalizer from the dead end as they failed to get past a cross and Magomed Ozdoev volleyed an unstoppable volley into the top corner from the edge of the box. .

(Written by Zoran Milosavljevic; Edited by Ed Osmond) Football-Chelsea lose top spot after 3-3 draw at Zenit

Huynh Nguyen

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