In the end, Ajax just about did a number on Chelsea.
Overall, the night will be remembered for an incredible encounter at Stamford Bridge even though it leaves Frank Lampard’s Champions League qualification hanging in the balance.
It was the game that had everything – except away fans.
Trouble from their Ajax fans against Benfica last season, repeated against Valencia earlier in this campaign, meant the Dutch club were banned from selling any of their allocation of tickets at Stamford Bridge.
As a result there was nobody to applaud the brave attempt by Ajax to keep pressing Chelsea even when they were left with two men fewer for the last 19 minutes.
That said, the home side thought they had won it.
Skipper Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had scored the winner only for VAR – what else? – to intervene with a handball by Tammy Abraham spotted in the build-up.
It would have been a cruel blow for an Ajax side that saw their fortunes stolen from them in a moment.
First Daley Blind was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Tammy Abraham. But that was not the limit of the damage.
Referee Gianluca Rocchi had allowed play to carry on long enough for Joel Veltman to handle in the area and concede a penalty, also picking up a second yellow card.
Ajax reduced to nine men and facing a penalty from just a single passage of play.
Jorginho converted his second penalty kick of the night and then, just minutes later, Kurt Zouma headed a set-piece against the bar and substitute Reece James drilled in to level the scores.
And yet from the first whistle Ajax had been the better side.
It took them just two minutes to get the ball in the back of the Chelsea net, with Quincey Promes’ inswinging free-kick clipping the shin of Abraham for an early own goal.
Christian Pulisic was perhaps clipped by Veltmann as he ran into the Ajax penalty area – if not he was cleared out by Nicolas Tagliafico to give Italian referee Rocchi no option but to point to the spot.
Jorginho was given the honours and waited for Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana to commit before rolling the ball into the opposite corner.
But then the visitors took the lead again, Hakim Ziyech crossing from close to the touchline and Quincy Promes showing none of Chelsea’s hesitancy to steer the ball in with his head.
Similar catastrophic defending conceded a cheap foul right by the corner flag in the 35th minute and things were about to get a whole deal worse.
Ziyech’s delivery was bent in on goal, and a mixture of woodwork and Kepa’s face saw the ball nestle into the back of the net for the second own goal of the night.
There can be no excuses about Ajax’s fourth, either. Donny van de Beek was given as much time as he could have wished for to drill the ball into the corner from 10 yards.
Pulisic at least helped get them back in touch, dragging the ball across the face of goal. Tammy Abraham got a touch, but Azpilicueta made sure, turning the ball in from a yard out.
The late drama will have sent Chelsea fans home on a high. But with a trip to Valencia next, the knockout stages still seem a long, long way away for Lampard.