Roberto di Matteo has been sacked as Chelsea manager less than 24 hours after their Champions League defeat to Juventus.

Twenty-six weeks and four days after the Italian sealed an FA Cup and Champions League double the Blues have decided a "change was necessary" after four Premier League matches without a win and with the club on the brink of elimination from Europe.

A club statement said:

Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.

The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.

The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.

The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.

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Di Matteo lasted less than André Villas-Boas

Di Matteo becomes the sixth full-time Chelsea manager to have been sacked since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, with his final game last night's 3-0 loss to Juve.

The 42-year-old lasted one week less than his predecessor André Villas-Boas, who won half of his 40 games in charge before he was fired in March.

Di Matteo oversaw Chelsea's round-of-16 comeback from a 3-1 deficit in their first leg away to Napoli to progress, via a memorable 2-2 draw against Barcelona, to the club's second Champions League final in May.

The Blues defeated Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties a week after they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

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  • FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

    MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Roberto Di Matteo interim manager of Chelsea lifts the trophy in celebration after their victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

    MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Roberto Di Matteo interim manager of Chelsea celebrates after their victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

  • FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

    MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Roberto Di Matteo interim manager of Chelsea celebrates with Ramires after their victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

    MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Roberto Di Matteo interim manager of Chelsea lifts the trophy in celebration after their victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Allianz Arena

    Chelsea's John Terry and interim manager Roberto Di Matteo (centre) celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League after the final whistle

  • FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

    MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: UEFA president Michel Platini congratulates Roberto Di Matteo, interim manager of Chelsea after winning the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

  • Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo, right, looks at UEFA president Michel Platini as he holds the trophy at the end of the Champions League final soccer match between Bayern Munich and Chelsea in Munich, Germany Saturday May 19, 2012. Chelsea's Didier Drogba scored the decisive penalty in the shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League final after a dramatic 1-1 draw on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

  • Chelsea's coach Roberto Di Matteo celebrates after the Champions League final soccer match between Bayern Munich and Chelsea in Munich, Germany Saturday May 19, 2012. Chelsea's Petr Cech holds up the trophy at the end of the Champions League final soccer match between Bayern Munich and Chelsea in Munich, Germany Saturday May 19, 2012. Chelsea's Didier Drogba scored the decisive penalty in the shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League final after a dramatic 1-1 draw on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

  • Italy Soccer Champions League

  • Italy Soccer Champions League

  • Italy Soccer Champions League

  • Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo gestures during the Champions League, Group E, soccer match between Juventus and Chelsea at the Juventus stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)

  • Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo watches a Champions League, Group E, soccer match between Juventus and Chelsea at the Juventus stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - The Hawthorns

    Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea manager

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - The Hawthorns

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo (right)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - The Hawthorns

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo (left) and West Bromwich Albion's manager Steve Clarke

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - The Hawthorns

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo (left) and West Bromwich Albion's manager Steve Clarke

  • Soccer - Roberto Di Matteo File Photo

    File photo dated 10/08/2012 of Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Liverpool - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (right) shows concern for John Terry (left) as he is carried off the pitch on a stretcher after picking up a injury in a collision with Liverpool's Luis Suarez

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Liverpool - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (second left) in the dugout as Frank Lampard (second right) sits in the stands

  • Soccer - John Terry File Photo

    File photo dated 4/4/2012 of Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (right) shakes hands with John Terry.

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v Shakhtar Donetsk - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v Shakhtar Donetsk - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo (right)

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v Shakhtar Donetsk - Stamford Bridge

    Shakhtar Donetsk's manager Mircea Lucescu (centre) and Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo on the touchline

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v Shakhtar Donetsk - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo (centre) gives instructions

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v Shakhtar Donetsk - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (left) and John Terry (2nd right) in the stands

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v FC Shakhtar Donetsk - Chelsea Press Conference and Training - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo (right) during a training session at Stamford Bridge, London.

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v FC Shakhtar Donetsk - Chelsea Press Conference and Training - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo and Chelsea speaks to the media during a Press Conference at Stamford Bridge, London.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Swansea City v Chelsea - Liberty Stadium

    Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea manager

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Swansea City v Chelsea - Liberty Stadium

    Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea manager

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Swansea City v Chelsea - Liberty Stadium

    Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea manager

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Swansea City v Chelsea - Liberty Stadium

    Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea manager

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Swansea City v Chelsea - Liberty Stadium

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo (right) and Swansea City's manager Michael Laudrup

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester United - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (right) and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester United - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo gestures on the touchline

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Stoke City - Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea's manager Roberto Di Matteo talks to the fourth official

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Wigan Athletic v Chelsea - DW Stadium

    Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea manager

  • Soccer - Pre-Season Friendly - Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea - AMEX Stadium

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (front) sits on the substitutes bench in front of David Luis, Oscar, Ross Turnbull, Sam Hutchinson and Mikel (back left to right), before the game

  • Soccer - Pre-Season Friendly - Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea - AMEX Stadium

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo sits on the bench during the Pre-Season Friendly match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea Press Conference - Cobham Training Ground

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference at Cobham Training Ground, Surrey.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea Press Conference - Cobham Training Ground

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference at Cobham Training Ground, Surrey.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea Press Conference - Cobham Training Ground

    Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference at Cobham Training Ground, Surrey.

  • Soccer - Roberto Di Matteo File Photo

    File photo dated 14/03/2012 of Roberto Di Matteo.

  • Soccer - Roberto Di Matteo File Photo

    File photo dated 19/05/2012 of Chelsea's John Terry and Roberto Di Matteo (centre) celebrating winning the UEFA Champions League.

  • Soccer - Roberto Di Matteo File Photo

    File photo dated 05/05/2012 of Roberto Di Matteo.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Stoke City v Chelsea - Britannia Stadium

    Chelsea's Fernando Torres (left) chats with assistant first team coach Roberto Di Matteo after he is substituted off

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Chelsea Training Session and Press Conference - Cobham Training Ground

    Roberto di Matteo, interim manager of Chelsea during a press conference ahead of the Champions league Final during a Press Conference at Cobham Training Ground, Stoke D'Abernon.

  • Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Chelsea Training Session and Press Conference - Cobham Training Ground

    Roberto di Matteo, interim manager of Chelsea during a press conference ahead of the Champions league Final during a Press Conference at Cobham Training Ground, Stoke D'Abernon.

  • Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Liverpool v Chelsea - Wembley Stadium

    Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is thrown in the air as Chelsea celebrate victory in the FA Cup

  • Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Liverpool v Chelsea - Wembley Stadium

    Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is thrown in the air as Chelsea celebrate victory in the FA Cup, after the final whistle

  • Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Liverpool v Chelsea - Wembley Stadium

    Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo celebrates with his players after the final whistle

He signed a two-year contract with the club in the summer after his memorable stint as caretaker coach and Chelsea spent £79.5m on Marko Marin, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Victor Moses and César Azpilicueta as Abramovich pursued his obsession for his adopted club to conquer Europe playing vibrant football.

A month ago the Blues were top of the Premier League and unbeaten after a superb 4-2 victory at Tottenham Hotspur but their run was ended eight days later at home to Manchester United.

Two hours after the game Chelsea reported referee Mark Clattenburg for using "inappropriate language" towards two players. Although they dropped their complaint that the official had abused Juan Mata, they are awaiting to hear the verdict on allegations Clattenburg labelled John Obi Mikel a 'monkey'.

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Di Matteo gets flustered as Chelsea are beaten by United

Since the United loss the Blues have won just two games - against the Red Devils in the League Cup and at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League - in a run which has heralded Di Matteo's departure.

Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola would be Abramovich's preferred appointment, but the Spaniard has stated he has no desire to resume his managerial career until next year.

Guardiola also met Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, chief executive David Gill and a member of the Glazer family - the club's owners - in New York in September. Ferguson is believed to favour the Spaniard as his successor, which could intensify the competition between the clubs next summer if the Scot retires.

Former Chelsea caretaker Avram Grant, who guided the club to the League Cup and Champions League finals in 2008, and former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez have both been mooted as possible interim coaches.

Chelsea must take three points against Nordsjaelland in their final Champions League group match and hope Shakhtar win at home to Juve to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout phase of the competition.


Tom Adams
Just goes to show: don't concede three goals away in Italy after a run of two wins in seven while trying to implement a new style.


Jay
Former Chelsea manager John Terry has been named as the bookies' favouritie to take over from Roberto Di Matteo.


Guillem Balague
Pep has told Roman he will continue his sabbatical and Rafa Benítez has not been approached. Would Avram Grant be a solution for now?