Chelsea can only qualify for next season’s Uefa Champions League by winning the upcoming final against Bayern Munich after they suffered a 4-1 loss to Liverpool on Tuesday, with interim boss Roberto Di Matteo blaming his predecessor for their failings.
With one game to play the Blues now cannot make the top four, which must be viewed as a huge failure given the club’s pre-season ambitions.
However, Di Matteo pointed the finger of blame squarely at Andre Villas-Boas after the hefty defeat at Anfield, where he rested a series of key players.
“It’s not just tonight that has cost us. We lost many points earlier in the season as well, and that has influenced things just as much,” Di Matteo told reporters.
“It is the 37 games that count and have shaped where we are, not one defeat here at Anfield.”
As for Di Matteo’s decision to make eight changes from the team which defeated Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Sunday, he wasn’t backing down on his call.
“I have no regrets. We’ve had very intense games, the last one just three days ago,” he said.
He added: “We know how demanding it has been for us and we played a team fresh and more energetic to give us a better chance. We played every three days in the last eight weeks and only by utilising the squad have we reached the finals and still had a chance of fourth with two games to go.”
Whatever the case, the Blues have improvely greatly under Di Matteo but on the whole it has been a season of failure in the league.
Whether Di Matteo gets the job permanently remains to be seen. Their FA Cup success and potential Champions League glory under his leadership will certainly bolster his case.