Thursday, November 21, 2013

21 November 2012 - But What Had He Done For Them Lately?

On 21 November 2012, Chelsea sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo, who had won both the FA Cup and the Champions League with them the previous season.

Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player who had managed Milton Keynes Dons and West Brom, joined the club in June 2011 as an assistant to André Villas-Boas. When owner Roman Abramovich sacked Villas-Boas in March 2012, he elevated Di Matteo to fill the vacancy, but on a caretaker basis.

At the time, Chelsea were fifth in the Premier League table and had just lost to Napoli 3-1 in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16. Di Matteo was unable to improve their league position, finishing sixth, but led them to their first Champions League title with a win over Bayern Munich and took the FA Cup over Liverpool. As a result, Chelsea signed him to a two-year deal in June 2012.

Chelsea started the new season with seven wins and a draw in their first eight matches to claim the top spot, but slumped into third with two losses and two draws in their next four. They also struggled in the Champions League, with group-stage losses to Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus. The latter, a 3-0 away defeat on 20 November, proved to be Di Matteo's last match in charge, as the club dismissed him the next day and replaced him with Rafa Benítez for the remainder of the season.

Di Matteo has yet to join another club, while Chelsea brought in José Mourinho for the 2013-14 season.

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