London: Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo would need to win the Champions League to keep his job, and to ensure that the Blues stay in Europe next season as a 4-1 defeat against Liverpool at the Anfield on Tuesday killed their even outside hope of a top four finish.
Di Matteo played an under strength team against the Red, keeping their Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 19 in his mind.
It is the worst final position Chelsea have had since Roman Abramovich took control, and even the much-mocked Europa League now beckons after a selection gamble failed to pay off.
Di Matteo defended his team selection, and cited his team’s jam-packed schedule responsible for the defeat.
“I thought by putting out a team that was fresh and energetic, physically and mentally, it would give us a better chance. But Liverpool was the better side. They were inspired - and scored goals at the right time as well,” a daily quoted Di Matteo, as saying.
“The final is a one-off game, it was always going to be high pressure. But we have to be objective. We have played 37 games and it`s not the points we lost [tonight] that made the difference. We have played every three days, we know how demanding it`s been for us,” he added.