Sport

Matteo claims responsibility for Chelsea's ill-timed loss

CHELSEA manager Roberto Di Matteo has taken the blame for his team's 3-0 defeat against Juventus which leaves the Blues on the brink of a Champions League exit.

If the Italian giants draw in Ukraine against already-qualified Shakhtar Donetsk on December 5, Chelsea will become the first defending champions to be eliminated in the group stages.

"If anyone has to take blame, it's me," Di Matteo told BBC Sport.

"I selected a team I was convinced would win or at least draw.

"We have hope. Mathematically it is still possible for us."

Di Matteo might be feeling the pressure now after a run of form which has seen his side produce just two wins in its last eight matches in all competitions.

Fabio Quagliarella deflected Andrea Pirlo's shot beyond Petr Cech before half-time for the opener before Arturo Vidal struck on the hour.

With time running out, Sebastian Giovinco beat the Chelsea goalkeeper to the ball before scoring.

On a bad night for the British clubs, a young Manchester United side, which had already won its group, lost in Turkey to Galatasaray, while Celtic missed out on an opportunity to clinch qualification to the knockout stages with a 2-1 defeat in Lisbon against Benfica.

Neil Lennon's team can still qualify for the last 16 if it gets a positive result at home against Spartak Moscow and Benfica loses or draws in Barcelona.

The Spanish giant overcame freezing conditions in Moscow to win 3-0 with Lionel Messi scoring his 79th and 80th goals of 2012 to move within five of Gerd Muller's 1972 record haul of 85 in a calendar year.

Topics:  champions league, chelsea fc, football, soccer


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