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Crisis-hit Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas goes on his knees to fans

By Steven Beacom

Under fire Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas today sent out an SOS to supporters to help him turn the club's calamitous season around after watching them lurch to another last-gasp defeat that put their Champions League future in serious doubt.

Already in danger of failing to qualify for next year's competition following their worst start to a Premier League campaign since Roman Abramovich bought the Blues, Villas-Boas' side are now threatening to crash out of this season's tournament before the knockout phase.

Chelsea lost 2-1 in a crucial Group E clash last night with keeper Petr Cech at fault for Leverkusen’s late winner, and this after Didier Drogba had put the visitors in front.

The result means that next month at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea must beat Valencia, who hammered Genk 7-0 last night,

or secure a scoreless draw to avoid dropping into the Europa League.

Failing to make the last 16 of the Champions League would not be acceptable to Abramovich or the fans and Villas-Boas would surely be on his way out. The Chelsea boss wants the supporters to help him and his side out in their hour of need.

“We will need Stamford Bridge completely behind us to get the intensity right and the emotions right for the game,” said Villas-Boas, who looked emotionally drained after his latest defeat.

“It's in our hands to qualify. It's a game at Stamford Bridge and we expect to do our job.”

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