Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said he told his Chelsea players at half-time they would come back to rescue a draw against Ajax on a thrilling Champions League night at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues trailed 3-1 at the break on Tuesday night with Donny van de Beek scoring a fourth for the visitors 10 minutes into the second period.
Chelsea pulled three goals back during a frenetic closing half-hour however which also saw the Ajax shown two red cards – with Lampard confident throughout the manic Champions League tie his side would pull it back.
Speaking after the game, Lampard said: “I said to the lads at half-time – I’m not trying to say how clever I am – but I said I think we’re going to draw this at least 3-3, could be 4-4, could be 4-3 and we could win it. It’s up to us.
“Because if we got rid of those crazy moments that gave them the goals – some misfortune, some on us – I just felt we were so in the game.”
He added: “I can’t explain the game. For all the things we might analyse back, the madness of the game, we are here for entertainment I suppose and anyone who watched that has to say ‘what a game of football’. Respect to Ajax, what a spectacle.
“I don’t think I have been in a game like it. The two own goals were the story of the first half. I said at half-time it will be 3-3 or 4-4, we were so in the game.
“We looked dangerous and I felt we would build momentum. I’m not happy overall, this is the Champions League and we made too many mistakes.
“The biggest pleasure is the spirit the whole stadium showed. I can’t give you much on the red cards, I didn’t really see what they were for.
“At half-time I would have taken a draw, for sure. Let’s take it as what it was. I was expecting somewhere towards 10 minutes of added time, not sure where four came from.”