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Batshuayi fires Chelsea to late Ajax win

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Chelsea’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi is congratulated by team-players at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Chelsea on October 23, 2019 at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in Amsterdam. (Photo by John THYS / AFP)

Chelsea showed that their players were ready for the European stage on Wednesday after Michy Batshuayi’s late winner fired them to a 1-0 Champions League win at Ajax that puts them square in the fight for the knockout stages.

Batshuayi struck in the 86th minute to seal a hugely impressive win in Amsterdam that puts Chelsea level on six points with last year’s semi-finalists at the top of Group H.

Valencia will have the chance to draw alongside their group rivals with a win at Lille later on Wednesday.

Frank Lampard’s side had to ride their luck in the Johan Cruyff Arena, with Quincy Promes’ first-half tap-in ruled out for the tightest of offsides and Edson Alvarez hitting the post with a diving header near the hour mark.

However, a youthful Chelsea showed they could compete with Europe’s top sides despite losing Eden Hazard in the summer, going toe-to-toe with one of the continent’s most dynamic attacking teams in a tight contest.

In a match littered with sloppy passing in the final third, it was substituted Christian Pulisic who provided a moment of final third quality to slot a low cross across the area that Batshuyai got to first.

The Belgian’s finish squeezed in off the crossbar to send Chelsea’s players and fans wild and provide Ajax with their first defeat of a season that had seen them continue with the form that bewitched Europe last season.


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