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Concerned Chelsea part company with Villas-Boas

"We felt our only option was to make a change," said Chelsea FC after confirming the departure of coach André Villas-Boas and placing Roberto Di Matteo in temporary charge.

André Villas-Boas at The Hawthorns on Saturday
André Villas-Boas at The Hawthorns on Saturday ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC have parted company with coach André Villas-Boas and placed his assistant Roberto Di Matteo in charge on an interim basis until the end of the season.

Appointed last June after leading FC Porto to a treble which included their UEFA Europa League success in Dublin, the Portuguese has been sacked following Saturday's 1-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion FC. The Blues have won just three of their last 12 Premier League games, leaving them in fifth spot, and trail SSC Napoli 3-1 after the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

A Chelsea statement said: "Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season. The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts. With that in mind, we felt our only option was to make a change at this time."

Formerly a scout for José Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and FC Internazionale Milano, Villas-Boas took his first coaching post at A. Académica de Coimbra in October 2009. An 11th-place finish in his first campaign was enough to persuade Porto to hire him in June 2010, making him the club's youngest ever coach aged just 32.