Chelsea have sacked their manager, Roberto Di Matteo, after his side lost 3-0 to Juventus on Tuesday evening to leave their hopes of progressing in the Champions League hanging by a thread.
This decision comes just six months after Di Matteo guided Chelsea to their first ever European Cup triumph, which they won by defeating Bayern Munich on penalties in the German capital in his tenure as caretaker manager. Chelsea also beat Liverpool at Wembley stadium to win the FA Cup just a week earlier.
It is now believed that Chelsea will appoint a new manager over the next 24 hours, with Liverpool’s former manager Rafael Benitez and Josep Guardiola touted as potential successors.
A club statement stated:
“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 head into a vitally important part of the season. The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions.”
It then concluded, “Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge on all fronts.”
Di Matteo was quick to take the blame for the defeat in Turin, but many football fans and journalists have chastised Roman Abramovich for his decision. The Russian has now fired nine managers in nine years during his reign at Stamford Bridge.