Di Matteo shoulders the blame

Roberto Di Matteo admitted he was to blame after Chelsea crashed to defeat at Juventus to leave themselves on the brink of becoming the first Champions League holders not to qualify for the knockout stage.

Blues boss Di Matteo refused to deflect responsibility for his side's 3-0 loss in Turin as the biggest selection gamble of his reign backfired spectacularly. Chelsea now need to win their final Group E game against FC Nordsjaelland and hope Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juve, despite having already qualified for the knockout stage.

He said: "I'm responsible for the result. I'm responsible for the performance. It's a negative evening for us. If anyone has to take the blame, it's me. I selected a team I was convinced was the right team to win against Juventus, or get at least a draw, so the blame belongs to me."

The result piled the pressure on the Italian, who acknowledged he was feeling the heat just six months after masterminding the most glorious moment in the club's history.

If not, there is no telling how trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich will react, especially with Pep Guardiola still waiting in the wings.

Di Matteo risked the Russian's wrath by dropping Fernando Torres and radically overhauling his tactics and he took full responsibility afterwards.

He added: "I'm responsible for positive and negative results. This is what I do."

Di Matteo took more than an hour to emerge for his post-match press conference but he said that was not because he had been grilled by senior club executives.

Asked if it would be unfair to sack him given all he had achieved last season, he said: "I'm the wrong person to answer that question."

He added: "At the moment, I think, with the team, we are all in it together. At the moment, I am here and I think I will be for the future. As far as I'm concerned, I'll keep working."

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