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Chelsea lose top spot after 3-3 draw at Zenit

champions league group h zenit st petersburg v chelsea
Zenit St Petersburg's Claudinho celebrates scoring their first goal

Champions League holders Chelsea finished as Group H runners-up after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday.

The result left Chelsea second on 13 points from six games, two behind group winners Juventus who leapt into pole position thanks to a 1-0 home win over Sweden’s Malmo.

Both sides had already booked their last-16 berths while third-placed Zenit will go into the second-tier Europa League after the winter break.

Timo Werner fired Chelsea ahead in the second minute with a tap-in from a Ross Bakley corner before Brazilian Claudinho levelled in the 38th with a glancing header.

Rattled by the equaliser, Chelsea fell behind three minutes later when Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun beat the offside trap and slotted the ball home after rounding goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Romelu Lukaku hit back in the 62nd minute as he stroked the ball into an empty net after a flowing move and Chelsea seemed to have forced the final twist after Werner struck again in the 85th thanks to good work by substitute Christian Pulisic.

The Premier League side were undone, however, by a spectacular equaliser at the death as they failed to clear a cross and late substitute Magomed Ozdoev unleashed an unstoppable volley past Kepa from the edge of the penalty area.

 

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