Soccer

Thursday 24 July 2014

Chelsea sack manager Roberto Di Matteo just hours after Juventus defeat

Published 21/11/2012|09:28

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Roberto Di Matteo

CHELSEA have sacked Roberto Di Matteo just hours after their Champions League defeat to Juventus.

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The club have reacted swiftly to the 3-0 loss in Italy last night which took their hopes of reaching the last 16 out of their hands, and put them at risk of becoming the first holders to fail to reach the subsequent knockout phase.

"The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.

"The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager."

Immediate attention will turn to whether the club can lure former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola out of a year-long sabbatical from football.

Guardiola was a reported target for the Blues in the summer despite Di Matteo's Champions League and FA Cup success.

He had vowed to take a year's break from the game, but he is likely to be the favourite to succeed Di Matteo on a permanent basis.



Di Matteo took charge of Chelsea in March on a temporary basis after the club had sacked Andre Villas-Boas.



He rescued the club's ailing Champions League campaign and steered them against all odds to victory over Bayern Munich in the final on the German team's home ground, having already secured the FA Cup.



He was given a two-year contract in June, but not before there had been major speculation over whether Guardiola would take over.



The season started well domestically but they have fallen slightly off the pace in recent weeks. Di Matteo has become the first top-flight manager to leave his post this season.

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