Saturday 24 February 2018

James Lawton: Roberto Di Matteo was the most successful caretaker manager in football's history

Exit: inevitable: Roberto Di Matteo
Exit: inevitable: Roberto Di Matteo
Overshadow:Pep Guardiola
Benched: Fernando Torres

After all the improbable glory, and the most remarkable war on the most formidable of odds, the chill of his native Alps finally came to Roberto Di Matteo.

It was always unlikely that Chelsea would maintain their foothold in Europe against the poise and organisation of Italy’s restored giants Juventus and when Petr Cech, for much of the night a reassuring source of defiance, raced recklessly from his goal in the last minutes, Di Matteo’s face told a story of extreme resignation.

Sebastian Giovinco stroked in Juventus’s third goal and for Di Matteo there could be little alternative but to consider the fate he was about to share with such heavyweight figures as Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Big Phil Scolari.

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