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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Football

Pink slip after Italian blues
AFP
London, November 22, 2012
First Published: 00:12 IST(22/11/2012)
Last Updated: 03:30 IST(22/11/2012)

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has been sacked after the European champions were left facing elimination at the group stage of the Champions League, the club said on Wednesday.

“Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matt-eo,” a statement said, following Tuesday's 3-0 defeat by Juventus.

Chelsea said the team’s 'recent performances and results have not been good enough. 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.'

Tuesday’s loss in Turin means Chelsea are poised to become the first ever Champions League winners to be knocked out in the group phase the following season.

Even victory at home to Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in their final group match may not be enough, as a draw between Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group D game would take both sides into the last 16.

Di Matteo, who replaced his sacked predecessor Andre Villas-Boas in March, led Chelsea to the FA Cup and their first-ever Champions League title in May, after which he was appointed on a permanent basis in June.

Bayern through...
Berlin: Bayern Munich advanced to the knockout stage after their 1-1 draw in Valencia on Tuesday but the Bundesliga leaders will have to rediscover top form if they are to banish the memories of last season's collapse.

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Bayern played for almost an hour with an extra man after Valencia's Antonio Barragan was sent off in the 33rd minute but trailed 1-0 until Thomas Mueller's 82nd minute equaliser.

The draw was enough for both teams to advance as BATE lost to Lille, but Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge sought more from the Bavarians. “We have to wake up," he said.

...as are Barca
Berlin: Barcelona eased into the Champions League last 16 after record-chasing Lionel Messi fired a first-half double as the favourites rediscovered their European verve to overcome Spartak Moscow 3-0 on Tuesday. 

Barcelona fullback Daniel Alves opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Messi added two more in the space of 12 minutes before halftime to reach 80 goals for the calendar year.

The Spaniards, who now have 12 points from five games after shrugging off the 2-1 defeat at Celtic this month, controlled the tempo with their tiki-taka on Moscow's slick artificial turf.

United’s run ends
Istanbul: Galatasaray ended Manchester United’s perfect start with a 1-0 victory in Group H in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game at the Turk Telekom Arena when he headed in a corner in the 54th minute to take the hosts to the brink of qualification for the knockout stages.

But with United already through to the second phase, this match allowed Alex Ferguson to give several younger players some valuable European experience. Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, however, stayed in Manchester.

Uefa charges Adriano
Nyon: Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano has been charged by Uefa for disrespecting opponent Nordsjaelland by scoring an uncontested goal after a drop ball. Uefa says it opened a disciplinary case against Luiz Adriano for 'violation of the principles of conduct' in Tuesday’s match.

The case will be judged next Tuesday. The controversy followed a stoppage in play when a Nordsjaelland player was injured.

Luiz Adriano infuriated Nordsjae-lland by racing to collect Willian’s kick downfield intended for the home goalkeeper, and shot into an empty net. It was Adriano’s first of three in a 5-2 win for his side.


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