x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Lampard substitution backfires for Chelsea in Champions League

Andre Villas-Boas's recall of Frank Lampard was totally vindicated but the Chelsea manager's decision to substitute him backfired spectacularly as Valencia snatched a draw in tonight's Champions League clash at the Mestalla.

Andre Villas-Boas's recall of Frank Lampard was totally vindicated but the Chelsea manager's decision to substitute him backfired spectacularly as Valencia snatched a draw in tonight's Champions League clash at the Mestalla.

Lampard looked to have scored a trademark winner that would have put the visitors in complete command of Group E but Villas-Boas brought him off for Salomon Kalou with seven minutes remaining and the new man immediately conceded a penalty.

Roberto Soldado scored, with Chelsea's frustrations boiling over at the final whistle after what was a missed opportunity.

Lampard told ITV1 after the game: "I always want to play, that's a given. I've been like that throughout my career."

Of last night's game he added: "From our point of view it was a good performance although disappointing to lose that lead."

Roman Shirokov scored a goal in each half to lead Zenit St Petersburg to a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over 10-man Porto in their Champions League Group G match

Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a penalty and set up a second goal for Antonio Cassano to give injury-plagued AC Milan a 2-0 win over the Group H rank outsiders Viktoria Plzen

Michael Ballack scored in injury time to give Bayer Leverkusen a 2-0 victory over Racing Genk in Group E. Germany midfielder Lars Bender had scored from long range to put Leverkusen ahead in the 30th minute

Andre Ayew scored twice to help Olympique Marseille maintain their perfect Champions League start with a clinical 3-0 home win against Borussia Dortmund in Group F.

Surprise package APOEL Nicosia held Shakhtar Donetsk to a 1-1 draw at the Donbas Arena to move a point clear at the top of Champions League Group G.

APOEL took the lead against the run of play when striker Ivan Trickovski stunned the home side by finishing off a rare counter attack in the 61st minute.

Shakhtar, who missed a hatful of chances throughout the game, were level within three minutes when Jadson smashed the ball into the net after taking advantage of a poor clearance.

* Agencies