CHELSEA blew their chance of an ‘easier’ Champions League last-16 draw after the second-string XI had last-minute heartbreak at Zenit.
The Blues knew they had to match or better Juventus’ result against Malmo to secure top spot in Group H.
And they made the perfect start when Timo Werner scored their fastest-ever Champions League goal after just 82 seconds.
The German tapped in from on the goal-line after a flick-on at a corner, won by Saul Niguez.
But the Russians hit back with two goals in three minutes before the break.
Claudinho found the back of the net before Sardar Azmoun rounded Kepa Arrizabalaga to tuck in.
Romelu Lukaku, starting up front, levelled up with a tap-in just after the hour-mark but Thomas Tuchel’s side struggled to find the all-important winner.
Werner looked to have done it with five minutes to go, slotting in with a clinical finish.
But Magomed Ozdoyev scored a stunning third for Zenit, flashing a volley into the top corner to confirm a 3-3 draw and second place for the reigning champs.
That means they will play one of the group winners in the first knockout round.
More to follow…