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Chelsea held by Valencia in CL thriller

Chelsea held by Valencia in CL thriller
Players of Chelsea and Valencia fight for the ball during their match.
VALENCIA, Nov 28 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/28/2019 11:15:31 AM IST

A freak goal from Valencia’s Daniel Wass earned the Spanish side a 2-2 draw in an epic encounter against England’s Chelsea on Wednesday that left both sides waiting to book their place in the Champions League’s knockout stage.

Valencia, who missed a glut of chances, had taken the lead through Carlos Soler but goals from Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic flipped the match on its head.

The Spaniards missed a penalty through Dani Parejo, but drew level late on when Wass netted a remarkable effort, shaping to centre before finding the net with a finish across goal.

The draw means both sides are on eight points after five games but Valencia have a better head-to-head record and so are second in Group H, with Chelsea in third.

Ajax Amsterdam sit top on 10 points after winning 2-0 at Lille, who are bottom with one.

Valencia visit last season’s semi-finalists Ajax in their final group game and will have to win there to ensure they qualify, while Chelsea will book their place in the last-16 if they beat Lille at home.

Victory for either side at Mestalla would have sent them through and Valencia went ahead when Soler scored in the 40th minute after team mate Maxi Gomez had missed two gilt-edged opportunities.

Yet Kovacic levelled for Chelsea two minutes later, netting for the first time in 122 club games.

Chelsea’s top scorer Tammy Abraham was carried off on a stretcher with a serious-looking injury before halftime, although Lampard said after the game the striker had only suffered a knock to the hip.

Valencia defender Jose Gaya was also taken off on a stretcher after fulltime having collapsed on the pitch.

United States international Pulisic put Lampard’s side ahead in the 50th minute after a lengthy VAR review ruled him onside.

Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno missed an open goal later in the half and then the home side were awarded a penalty.

But captain Parejo was denied from the spot by Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, spurning a second penalty in the competition after also missing in the defeat to Ajax Amsterdam.

The Spaniards eventually levelled in the 82nd minute with a remarkable goal from Danish midfielder Wass, who looked set to cross from the right wing but instead flummoxed Arrizabalaga by firing a shot across goal which bounced off the far post and into the net.

Valencia should have won the game in added time but Rodrigo failed to connect properly with a cross from close range, while Chelsea had a shot cleared off the line before then and Valencia keeper Jasper Cillessen denied Michy Batshuayi.

Barcelona ease into last-16

Lionel Messi scored in his 700th match for Barcelona and also set up goals for Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann as the Catalans beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Wednesday to seal a spot in the Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners.

Messi set up Suarez to put Barca ahead at a packed Camp Nou in the 29th minute before the Uruguayan returned the compliment for the Argentine to establish another Champions League record on his landmark night four minutes later.

Messi’s left-foot strike meant he had scored against a 34th different team in the Champions League, surpassing the mark that he had shared with Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul.

Substitute Griezmann finished off a defence-splitting pass from Messi to further stretch Barca’s lead in the 67th minute, a much-needed goal for the Frenchman’s confidence after failing to score in his previous six appearances for the club.

Dortmund’s England forward Sancho also began the game on the bench but made an impact when introduced after halftime, firing in an impressive consolation strike for the Germans in the 77th minute after pouncing on a loose ball inside the area.

The 19-year-old then forced Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to turn a powerful shot on to the crossbar in a strong finish from the German side, whose coach Favre is under pressure due to the team’s poor domestic results.

Ernesto Valverde’s side lead the standings with 11 points from five games, Inter Milan are second on seven while Dortmund are third, also on seven, with Slavia bottom with two.

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