Champions League: Chelsea draw 3-3 at Zenit, second in group behind Juventus

Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Magomed Ozdov celebrates with teammate after scoring stoppage time
Image source: AFP via Getty Images

Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Magomed Ozdov celebrates with teammate after scoring a stoppage time equalizer against Chelsea in a UEFA Champions League Group H match at the Gazprom Arena stadium in St Petersburg on Wednesday night.

Chelsea conceded a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to draw 3-3 at Zenit St Petersburg and move into second place behind Juventus in their Champions League group on Wednesday.

Juventus started the final round of the group game level on points with Chelsea and beat Malmö 1–0 in the same game. A second-place finish means Chelsea will play a group winner in the last 16, most likely giving the defending champions an uphill task to advance.

Magomed Ozdov earned Zenit a point with a fierce, rising shot from inside the field when it looked like Timo Werner’s second goal of the night – in the 85th minute – would guide Chelsea to victory.

Zenit had already finished third and secured a spot in the Europa League knockout playoffs for the right to reach the last 16 of the second tier competition.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has fielded a poor lineup with his team guaranteed to advance, but it still includes what is widely seen as the first-choice strike partnership of Werner and Romelu Lukaku, Both of whom have recently returned to fitness after injuries. He combined to score all goals for Chelsea, who were trailing 2–1 in the final half-hour.

Werner swung the ball into a corner in the second minute to give Chelsea the lead, but Zeenat turned the game around with goals from Claudinho in the 38th minute and Sardar Azmoun in the 41st.

Lukaku tapped into an empty net in the 62nd after good work from Werner, who played a one-two with Ross Barkley for his first Chelsea goal in nearly three months.

Werner completed the return by shifting the ball to his right foot inside the field and shooting low into the net. When checked in for video review offside, he had a nervous wait, but the target stood.

There was still time, however, for Ozdov to grab a late equalizer that left Tuchel unhappy with his players.

“We were forgetting why we were the better team,” Tuchel said, “that the level of investment, the concentration, the level of physical investment was enough to be the better team.

“Once it drops, 5%, 10%, and it happens; once we start managing the consequences and replacing our behavior with the score, we are punished at the moment. Happened to us (in a 3-2 loss on Saturday) at West Ham and happened again today.”

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