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Reece James reveals Frank Lampard pep talk before inspiring Chelsea to comeback against Ajax

‘He told me to liven the boys up’: Reece James reveals Frank Lampard pep talk before inspiring Chelsea to second half comeback against Ajax

  • Reece James scored Chelsea’s equaliser in 4-4 thriller against Ajax
  • James started on the bench but replaced Marcos Alonso at half-time
  • The right-back revealed he thought Chelsea had won the game late on 

Reece James revealed Frank Lampard told him to ‘liven the boys up’ before introducing him as a half-time substitute in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Ajax.

James came off the bench to become Chelsea’s youngest Champions League goalscorer, driving home from a corner as the Blues overturned a 4-1 deficit to draw 4-4.

But Chelsea thought they had won it when Cesar Azpilicueta found the net, only for VAR to cut short the celebrations after spotting the ball hit Tammy Abraham’s hand.

Reece James scored Chelsea’s equaliser in their 4-4 draw against Ajax on Tuesday night

James revealed Frank Lampard gave him a half-time pep talk before his fine performance

James revealed Frank Lampard gave him a half-time pep talk before his fine performance

The right-back says he thought Chelsea had won 5-4 before Blues had a late goal disallowed

The right-back says he thought Chelsea had won 5-4 before Blues had a late goal disallowed

On a chaotic night they scored two own-goals and two penalties while Ajax had two players, Daley Blind and Joel Veltman, sent off at once.

‘I’ve never really been involved in anything like that,’ said James.

‘It was great coming on at half-time, we had a lot to do in the game and obviously their sending-offs helped us get a few more goals and in the second half we played a lot better.

‘As soon as that happened we built momentum, the game changed and from then on we knew we could get back into it.

Chelsea were 4-2 down before Ajax conceded a penalty and had two players sent off

Chelsea were 4-2 down before Ajax conceded a penalty and had two players sent off

Jorginho made it 4-3 from the spot before James scored his 78th minute equaliser

Jorginho made it 4-3 from the spot before James scored his 78th minute equaliser

‘It was a crazy game. Scoring a goal is a bonus. The manager told me to come on and liven the boys up.

‘I thought we’d gone 5-4 up but it wasn’t meant to be, so we’ll take the point and move on to the next game.

‘At half-time we were 3-1 down and not everyone was happy so coming away with what we did is a lot better, but we felt we could get the three points.’

Ajax took the lead inside the opening two minutes when Abraham diverted a Quincy Promes free-kick into his own net, but moments later Jorginho equalised from the penalty spot after a foul on Christian Pulisic.

Promes headed the second before Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick beat Kepa Arrizabalaga, came back off the post and hit the keeper full in the face before bouncing in.

Donny Van de Beek’s low drive put Ajax in total control, but the comeback began when Azpilicueta tapped in at the far post.

Then, in a crazy 60 seconds, Blind was shown a second yellow card for fouling Abraham and Veltman followed him down the tunnel after handling Callum Hudson-Odoi’s subsequent shot.

Stamford Bridge was rocking as Jorginho rolled in his second penalty, and it was pandemonium when James equalised.

Chelsea are now locked on seven points alongside Ajax and Valencia, with a tough trip to Spain up next before a visit from Lille.

‘There’s no easy games in this group and we are going to have to give it our all in the next two games,’ added James.

 

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