Chelsea sack manager Andre Villas-Boas with immediate effect


By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Chelsea have their worst points total at this stage of a season under Villas-Boas (pictured) during Abramovich's reign as owner

Chelsea have parted company with manager Andre Villas-Boas with immediate effect after less than a year in charge at the Stamford Bridge club.

Owner Roman Abramovich, who hadn't come out to back the manager publically lately despite originally backing Villas-Boas' "project" for the club's future, chose to make the decision after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion resulted in just three Premier League wins in the last twelve matches. The club's progression in the FA Cup and Champions League is also hanging in the balance with a fifth round replay against Birmingham to come on Tuesday night and the second leg of the European second leg against Napoli- who have a 3-1 lead from the first leg.

The 34-year old took over in June last year following a treble success at FC Porto winning the Portuguese cup, league and the UEFA Europa League- beating Braga 1-0 in the final at the Aviva Stadium. He was named as Carlo Ancelotti's successor on 22nd June signing a three-year contract.

A statement on the club's official website read: "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."

Assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo has been put in charge of the first-team affairs until the end of the season where former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez is widely tipped to take over the hotseat.

Click here to hear the thoughts of Chris Waddle, Kevin Keegan & Martin Keown on the sacking




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