Chelsea sack Di Matteo

2012-11-21 11:16

London - Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has been sacked after the European champions were left facing elimination at the group stage of the Champions League, the club said on Wednesday.

"Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo," a statement said, following Tuesday's 3-0 defeat by Juventus.

Chelsea said the team's "recent performances and results have not been good enough".

"The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions," they added.

Tuesday's loss in Turin means Chelsea are poised to become the first ever Champions League winners to be knocked out in the group phase the following season.

Even victory at home to Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in their final group match may not be enough, as a draw between Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group D game would take both sides into the last 16.

Di Matteo was only appointed on a permanent basis in June, having led Chelsea to their first ever Champions League title after replacing his sacked predecessor Andre Villas-Boas in March.

Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final in May, two weeks after defeating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

"The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March," Chelsea added, saying the Italian "will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge".

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

Di Matteo, 42, is the seventh coach to have been sacked by owner Roman Abramovich since the Russian billionaire bought the club in 2003.

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was immediately installed as the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Di Matteo on a permanent basis.

Speaking during a coaching seminar in Abu Dhabi, he confirmed his interest in the position, but did not say whether or not he had been approached by Chelsea.

"What I will say is that I am looking for a club that can challenge for trophies, so Chelsea is one of these clubs," he told newspaper The National.

Pep Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach, and ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp were also rumoured to be in the running.

Chelsea had made a superb start to the season, but since losing 2-1 at Shakhtar on September 23, their campaign has come off the rails.

They won seven and drew one of their opening eight league games to move four points clear at the Premier League summit but a 3-2 loss at home to Manchester United last month marked the start of a run of four games without a win.

Saturday's 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, Di Matteo's former club, left Chelsea four points behind leaders Manchester City in third place.

The loss to United was surrounded by controversy, after Chelsea's claim that referee Mark Clattenburg racially abused midfielder John Obi Mikel prompted a Football Association investigation that is yet to conclude.

A former Chelsea player, who scored in two FA Cup final successes, Di Matteo had been trying to revolutionise the club's playing style by introducing a more attacking approach.

Chelsea spent over 80 million pounds on new players in the close season, notably bringing in Belgian winger Eden Hazard from Lille and Brazilian attacking midfielder Oscar from Internacional.

Although the quality of their football drew praise from pundits in the season's early months, that initial momentum appears to have disappeared.

Di Matteo, who was born in Switzerland but represented Italy at international level, was in only his third senior managerial position.

He started his coaching career with third-tier MK Dons in 2008 before joining West Brom a year later.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Did Roberto Di Matteo deserve the boot? Who should Chelsea appoint in his place? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


  • ettiene.esterhuizen.7 - 2012-11-21 11:25


      dhirshan.gobind - 2012-11-21 11:46

      the guy takes them from nowhere last season to the fa cup and 'holy grail CL trophy' - pathetic from the shady owner and unfair. please do not go there pep guardiola and ruin your career! no manager in his right mind would take up the job!

      dhirshan.gobind - 2012-11-21 11:49

      blame the 50mil pound flop torres. worst striker on earth at the moment! why do the coaches always get the axe, players should take some responsibility (how about pay cuts instead of being treated like Gods) - same issue at city . . .

      classwar.trotsky - 2012-11-21 11:55

      Valid points from Dhirshan there. Chelsea still have the mindset of being able to buy titles. Look at Ferguson and Wenger, that is how to build a winning team, sticking with the coach, not by knee-jerk replacing coaches willy-nilly as bad results ensue. And Torres needs to move back to the inferior Euro leagues, he just is not cut out for the EPL.

      dhirshan.gobind - 2012-11-21 11:57

      Mancini is next after tonight . . .

      dhirshan.gobind - 2012-11-21 12:04

      wenger wins nothing for 8 years and his job is more secure than jacob zuma's mansion. this poor guy delivers the biggest cup to the blues for the 1st time in their history and months later shown the door, not cool!

      morne.linden - 2012-11-21 15:22

      They never wanted him to be coach in the first place, but he surprised them by winning the CL. I'm getting sick of this owners nonsence. But anyway its business as usual.

  • Tankiso Mogoje - 2012-11-21 11:30

    These clueless morons will never see the champions leaque again.Or maybe they are angry that Di Matteo brought them what they were not really used to having,the Champions Leaque.

      leonard.menge - 2012-11-21 12:38

      Not sure if John Terry has shagged more wives or Roman Abramovich has sacked more managers.

  • theunis.smit.3 - 2012-11-21 11:34

    Knee jerk - No manager is gonna last more than a season at Chelsea.

  • pule.lepitla - 2012-11-21 11:38

    Serves him right! You can't play counter-attacking football forever!

      oby.florence.1 - 2012-11-21 12:51

      Shut dat ur mouth if u dont knw wat to say,bla bla bla others ones he has been winning is it nt d same counter attack. Always looking for excuses mtchewwwwwwwwww

      pule.lepitla - 2012-11-21 13:11

      Go to school 'ho'

  • niel.mathews.1 - 2012-11-21 11:38

    Im not a chelsea supporter but thats a bit harsh. he isnt far out of the premier league and yes, poor in champions league. The major factor is he kept playing torres which was his downfall.

  • reuben.thifhulufhelwidrt - 2012-11-21 11:43

    This is madness,Di matteo has been nothing bt loyal 2 the club and he was neva given enough chance 2 prove himslf bt wth that litle chance he get he manage 2 make dem king of it seem like its a habit of sackin manager 4 Roman,I. Thnk he dnt understand the philosophy of football.sometime u have 2 wait 4 ur ryt moments 2 come adawise u wl remain chasing wth nothn,coz now a new manager will have 2 settle while the team is learning his style of play and the cnt ovias won't be performing.I thnk Roman mst jst sell 2 team 2 the ryt people who has passion of soocer and who understand it

  • richard.mwelwa - 2012-11-21 11:47

    Chelsea, wow! Hire n Fire!

  • MrDinwiddie - 2012-11-21 11:48

    I must say, I am surprised. Ddnt see this 1 coming. The bosses at chelsea obviously know nothing about football

  • byron.wright.102 - 2012-11-21 11:49


  • justin.frittelli - 2012-11-21 11:50

    The Mad Russian is at it again! If I was a top player I would join the likes of City and Man U, as a few bad games at Chelsea and your head is on the chopping block.

  • PumaFred - 2012-11-21 11:50

    Set up so they can get Pep Guardiola

  • K.Nine.King - 2012-11-21 11:54

    not a chelski fan, but even I feel for them. how does abramovich expect to build a sustainable team when he cant even sustain a manager? new manger every 6 months...

  • Mark - 2012-11-21 12:01

    What a shocker, I am totally gutted. Massive blues supporter, not cool !!!

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 12:03

    I am prepared to take the job. He can give me a golden handshake any day.

  • rudzanimulaudzi.mulaudzi - 2012-11-21 12:12

    I dont like this job because they hire you to sack you.

  • zaakiro - 2012-11-21 12:18

    Rafa Benitez to Chelsea?

      sello.molekwa.1 - 2012-11-21 12:21

      You must be joking! Rather say Pep Guardiola.

      classwar.trotsky - 2012-11-21 13:26

      Hell no! The only benefit would be Torres could warm Rafa's bed at night again, like the old days.

  • violetemily.sbanyoni - 2012-11-21 12:25

    guadiola is chelsea next coach

  • aadil.esack - 2012-11-21 12:26

    Not suprised - you do not bench Roman's Golden Boy no matter how crap his form is at the moment, i.e. Traitor-res. I reckon Rafa will get it as 1) he has the Euro know how, 2) he knows how to make Torres look good & 3) in his time at LFC, he wanted to buy the likes of Hazard, Silva & Mata, before they were big names, but was let down by the then LFC owner's - 2 of them are already at the Bridge I hope not, as i really do rate him extremely highly, but then again, i adore Pep as well - just hope it's niether of them, but have a feeling it will be

      classwar.trotsky - 2012-11-21 15:10

      See what happened when Mourinho didn't want to play multi-million Euro flop, Roman's compatriot Shevchenko....

  • leonard.menge - 2012-11-21 12:40

    Not sure if John Terry has shagged more wives or Roman Abramovich has sacked more managers.

  • matsutle.aphane - 2012-11-21 13:02

    please Mr khoza go get DI Matteo to come save the sea robbers ship is sinking please a concern pirates die-heart

  • nickwill.reen - 2012-11-21 13:48

    Sundowns can now scoop Mr Di Matteo! Atleast he'll be a brazilian coach hahahaha

  • quenton.vanniekerk - 2012-11-21 13:59

    Give the job to Pep Guardiola no doubt bout it if he wants it of course also won't be to keen to coach chelsea!!!

  • russellblack.cowan - 2012-11-21 14:39

    Roman Abramovich = BLOODY AGENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • russellblack.cowan - 2012-11-21 14:40

    Di Matteo, go to COSATU. They'll get your job back South African style.

  • gazaspells - 2012-11-21 14:46

    pep guardiola here we come

  • pchihwai - 2012-11-21 19:43

    pep is the best now,just offer him good ,Mr ibrahimoch

  • keithronald.wildschut - 2012-11-21 22:34

    The coach does not deserves this;The players must pull up their socks.

      brian.osoro.56 - 2012-12-09 22:09

      And also da owner should not respond so quickly as he does 2 da envronment

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