Chelsea off to winning start under Di Matteo


CHELSEA caretaker manager Roberto di Matteo dedicated last night’s FA Cup fifth round replay victory over Birmingham to the man he replaced, Andre Villas-Boas.

Two of the now departed Portugueses summer signings, Juan Mata and Raul Meireles, scored the second half goals which guaranteed his former club a home tie in the quarter finals against Leicester.

Villas-Boas was sacked on Sunday following a run of just one win in six games in all competitions and after getting his tenure off to the perfect start, Di Matteo made a point of remembering his old boss amid the celebrations.

“My thoughts tonight go to Andre,” he said. “I think the attitude was right, the commitment, the passion was there.

“It was important tonight to go through to the next round, for our club and for our supporters.

“We have two months left to the end of the season. We have to try to achieve what we have set ourselves for this season.

“It’s only possible if the 25 players in the squad are a little bit unselfish and work together.”

After a tight first half the visitors broke the deadlock after 54 minutes when Mata stabbed home following an almighty scramble.

Meireles settled the tie six minutes later with a rasping drive before Mata saw a penalty saved by Colin Doyle.