Chelsea sack Roberto Di Matteo hours after Champions League loss
Chelsea have parted company with Roberto Di Matteo after the Blues were beaten 3-0 by Juventus in the Champions League
Chelsea have sacked Roberto Di Matteo just hours after Tuesday night’s 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus.
The Blues announced on Twitter on Wednesday morning that they had parted company with Di Matteo, ending the Italian’s 262-day reign at Stamford Bridge after a poor string of results.
The club said they would be making an announcement over the Italian’s replacement shortly, with Rafael Benitez the bookmakers’ early favourite to take over.
A club statement read: “The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.
“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. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.
“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.”
Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas as Chelsea’s interim manager in March, leading the Blues to FA Cup and Champions League success before being handed the role on a full-time basis in the summer.
Roberto Di Matteo fact-file
• Having won 34 caps for Italy, Di Matteo sustained a triple leg fracture in a Uefa Cup tie against FC St Gallen early in the 2000-01 campaign and was forced to retire in February 2002. Then-manager Claudio Ranieri asked him to lead out the team for the 2002 FA Cup Final, which Chelsea lost to Arsenal.
• He took charge of MK Dons in July 2008 and, having finished third in the English third tier, was appointed by West Brom the following summer.
• In his first season at The Hawthorns, he led the club to second place in the Championship and promotion to the Premier League but he was sacked in February 2011.
• In June 2011, Di Matteo returned to Chelsea as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas and, following the Portuguese coach’s dismissal in March 2012, he was appointed as interim first-team coach for the remainder of the season.
• He led the Blues to an historic FA Cup and Champions League cup double in 2011-12, before being handed a two-year permanent contract in the summer of 2012.