Juve top group as Chelsea surrender pole position with six-goal draw

St Petersburg: Champions League holders Chelsea finished as Group H runners-up after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).

The result left Chelsea second on 13 points from six games, two behind group winners Juventus who leapt into pole position thanks to a 1-0 home win over Sweden’s Malmo.

Magomed Ozdoev celebrates his stoppage-time equaliser for Zenit against Chelsea in the Champions League.Credit:AP

Both sides had already booked their last-16 berths while third-placed Zenit will go into the second-tier Europa League after the winter break.

Timo Werner fired Chelsea ahead in the second minute with a tap-in from a Ross Barkley corner before Brazilian Claudinho levelled in the 38th with a glancing header.

Rattled by the equaliser, Chelsea fell behind three minutes later when Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun beat the offside trap and slotted the ball home after rounding goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Romelu Lukaku hit back in the 62nd minute as he stroked the ball into an empty net after a flowing move and Chelsea seemed to have forced the final twist after Werner struck again in the 85th thanks to good work by substitute Christian Pulisic.

Champions League matchday 6 results

Wednesday (AEDT):

  • RB Leipzig 2 Manchester City 1
  • PSG 4 Club Brugge 1
  • Ajax 4 Sporting Lisbon 2
  • Porto 1 Atletico Madrid 3
  • Real Madrid 2 Inter Milan 0
  • AC Milan 1 Liverpool 2
  • Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Sheriff 1
  • Borussia Dortmund 5 Besiktas 0

Thursday (AEDT):

  • Zenit 3 Chelsea 3
  • Juventus 1 Malmo 0

*Italics denotes qualified for knockout stage

The Premier League side were undone, however, by a spectacular equaliser at the death as they failed to clear a cross and late substitute Magomed Ozdoev unleashed an unstoppable volley past Kepa from the edge of the penalty area.

In Turin, a much-changed Juventus raced into an 18th-minute lead when Moise Kean headed his first Champions League goal from an inch-perfect Federico Bernardeschi cross.

With Malmo guaranteed to finish bottom of the group, the Swedes had little incentive to push for a leveller and Juve closed out the win without ever being seriously troubled.


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