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Did Villas-Boas commit 'career suicide'?
by Paul Kennedy, February 21st, 2012 9:44PM

TAGS:  england, italy, russia, spain, uefa champions league


[WORLD VIEW] It was not a good day for two of European soccer's richest clubs in the UEFA Champions League. Chelsea blew a 1-0 lead at Napoli and lost, 3-1, adding to the woes of its embattled manager, Portuguese Andre Villas-Boas. Real Madrid missed several golden chances in the second half and had to settle for a 1-1 tie at CSKA Moscow when the hosts scored on the last kick of the game.

Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi and Uruguayan Edinson Cavani were too much for the Blues, combining for all three goals after Juan Mata had put Chelsea ahead in the 27th minute.

"We always say we keep working hard on the training ground but unfortunately we don't seem to transport that on the pitch,'' goalie Petr Cech said. "We have quality players who can turn it around, but it could be better because we don't have time to recover. We have a lot of games coming up and we are not in a position to drop many points in league. It's not an ideal situation, but we are still in the Champions League and we will fight to the end.''

The loss only increased the pressure on Villas-Boas as he has watched the Blues struggle in domestic play in his first season in charge and now find themselves on the verge of elimination in the Champions League, the trophy Abramovich covets above all others.
Villas-Boas' decision to not play England stars Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole only added to speculation that he could be on his way out at Stamford Bridge and replaced by Spaniard Rafael Benitez.

Jamie Redknapp, the former England international-turned-pundit, called Villas-Boas' decision "career suicide."

In Moscow, Villas-Boas' mentor and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho watched in subzero temperatures as Sergio Ramos' header was saved by CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov and Cristiano Ronaldo missed with Chepchugov beaten late in the game and then but Pontus Wernbloom scored in stoppage time to equalize for the Russian club.

Cristiano Ronaldo had put Madrid ahead with his 36th goal of the season.

1 comment
  1. Jase The Ace
    commented on: February 22, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.
    Career suicide? Isn't being hired and fired by Abramovich a resume builder?

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