Chelsea Sack Manager Andre Villas-Boas Amid Champions League Exit Fears

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 21:  A dejected Andre Villas-Boas the Chelsea manager walks off the pitch following his team's 3-1 defeat during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between SSC Napoli and Chelsea FC at Stadio San Paolo on February 21, 2012 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Devil in a New DressSenior Writer IMarch 4, 2012

Andre Villas-Boas' time at the helm of the 2009/2010 Barclays Premier League champions is over after being sacked less than a year into his term at Stamford Bridge.

The 34-year-old Portuguese manager joined Chelsea from FC Porto in June 2011, spearheading the purchases of Rui Meireles, Gary Cahill and Juan Mata among others.

His assistant Roberto di Matteo, a former Premier League manager at West Brom and a former Chelsea midfielder in his playing career, has been put in charge of team affairs on an interim basis until the end of the season.

A statement on the club's website said:

Andre Villas-Boas has parted company with Chelsea Football Club today. The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early.

Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.

The club is still competing in the latter stages of the Uefa Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts. With that in mind we felt our only option was to make a change at this time.

It was widely believed after Chelsea's shocking 1-0 loss to West Brom on Saturday that Villas-Boas' time would come to an end sooner rather than later. It's funny how no-one has thought to question certain Chelsea players' contributions.

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