Zenit 3-3 Chelsea: Stunning Ozdoev strike condemns Chelsea to second in group after thrilling draw in Russia

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 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Chelsea missed out top spot in Group H after a 3-3 draw away to Zenit Saint Petersburg on Wednesday evening.

The Blues started like a house on fire and Timo Werner netted the club’s quickest-ever Champions League goal after just 83 seconds, nudging home a corner at the far-post.

The pressure did not relent and Chelsea looked ready to kill the game within the first 15 minutes before eventually fading and allowing Zenit a foothold in the game.

Claudinho punished the visitors for their increasingly sloppy play by heading home unmarked on 39 minutes before Sardar Azmoun raced clear to round Kepa Arrizabalaga and make it 2-1 only moments later.

Inevitably, Chelsea came out with more zip in the second-half and Romelu Lukaku hit his first Chelsea goal since the reverse fixture between these sides, on September 14.

Back in the starting XI after over a month away, the striker visibly lacked sharpness yet showed his poacher’s instinct by getting on the end of a smart move, as Ross Barkley found Werner to tee Lukaku up for a tap-in.

Fresh legs off the bench helped the Blues’ momentum after Zenit had pushed back into the match and Werner put Chelsea back in front with a smart control and finish on 85 minutes.

But Zenit were not to be denied as Magomed Ozdoev fired off a stunning strike from the edge of the box, deep into the six minutes of stoppage time to seal the draw.

Chelsea now face a last-16 draw against the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid after Juventus beat Malmo in Turin courtesy of a Moise Kean goal.

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