Reece James becomes Chelsea’s YOUNGEST EVER Champions League scorer after netting in thriller with Ajax
- Reece James has become Chelsea’s youngest Champions League goalscorer
- The right-back netted a fine strike in the second half to seal a draw with Ajax
- James is almost a whole year younger than previous record holder Arjen Robben
Reece James has etched his name into Chelsea’s record books after becoming their youngest ever goalscorer in the Champions League.
The 19-year-old came off the bench to score his first ever goal in Europe and his side’s fourth of the night against Ajax on Tuesday.
James’ strike saw him take the honour from Arjen Robben, who had held it since scoring at 20 years and 284 days’ old against CSKA Moscow in November 2004.
Reece James became Chelsea’s youngest Champions League goalscorer on Tuesday
The right-back scored a low drive to draw Chelsea level after they had been trailing 4-1
Oscar, Daniel Sturridge and Kurt Zouma are the other names among Chelsea’s five youngest Champions League scorers.
James may find himself in illustrious company on Chelsea’s list of young scorers, but he will no doubt take more joy from the fact his goal managed to earn them a point, on a night which at one stage looked destined to end in defeat.
Ajax took the lead at Stamford Bridge after just two minutes through a Tammy Abraham own goal.
Their lead didn’t last long though with Chelsea pegging back last season’s semi-finalists almost immediately after Jorginho calmly tucked away a penalty.
This table shows Chelsea’s five youngest Champions League goalscorers
Arjen Robben celebrates after scoring against CSKA Moscow in November 2004
Quincy Promes then restored Ajax’s lead before a Hakim Ziyech free-kick rebounded off the post and then Kepa Arrizabalaga’s face before nestling into the corner.
The visitors consolidated their lead even further through Donny van de Beek after the break before Chelsea began their comeback with captain Cesar Azpilicueta striking to reduce the deficit.
Ajax then lost both their centre-backs in quick succession as both Daley Blind and Joel Veltman saw red.
Jorginho scored from the spot again to put Chelsea within touching distance before James scored to level things up at 4-4.
Chelsea thought they had a winner when Azpilicueta found the corner late on, but it was ruled out by VAR after a handball had been spotted in the build-up to the goal.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said he has never been involved in a game like their one with Ajax
Blues boss Frank Lampard talked up James after his cameo appearance on Tuesday night and is tipping him for a bright future.
He said: ‘Reece is a fantastic young player and he gives what you saw. I think he’ll get much better because he is 19 and that’s just normal. I felt we needed a change for us to get a bit more on the right hand side.
‘A change to get Azpilicueta on the left-hand side. Reece can deliver crosses with great quality. He is powerful and joins in. He knows we have got Azpi there who is our captain and right back but he knows we can change things. If Reece does that he can do it. He is going to be a great player for this club.
‘He’s got great quality. When you look at the modern full back, the things that are required to join in and be a threat going forwards, some of those in the Premier League are doing it at the moment in an outstanding way.
‘Hopefully Reece can do it for us.’