Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

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

Chelsea's head coach Andre Villas-Boas reacts on the pitch during the Champions League Group E soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea FC in Leverkusen, Germany
Chelsea's head coach Andre Villas-Boas reacts on the pitch during the Champions League Group E soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea FC in Leverkusen, Germany
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Head coach André Villas-Boas of Chelsea issues instructions during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Florent Malouda (C) falls over Bernd Leno (L) of Leverkusen the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Manuel Friedrich (3 rd L) of Leverkusen celebrates the second goal with his team mates during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Didier Drogba of Chelsea is injured during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Lars Bender of Leverkusen (C) touches Didier Drogba of Chelsea (R) during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Ballack of Leverkusen runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Referee Viktor Kassai of Hungary shows Raul Meireles of Chelsea the yellow card (L) during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Ballack of Leverkusen (C) shake hands with Juan Mata (L) and José Bosingwa of Chelsea (R) prior to UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Didier Drogba of Chelsea (R) shake hands wiht matchwinner Manuel Friedrich (L) of Leverkusen during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Didier Drogba (C) celebrates the first goal with Juan Mata (L) and Raul Meireles (R) the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Oemer Toplak of Leverkusen (L) and Lars Bender of Leverkusen (R) challenge Didier Drogba of Chelsea (C) during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Gonzalo Castro of Leverkusen and Florent Malouda of Chelsea go up for a header during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Ballack of Leverkusen looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Didier Drogba (2n dL)of Chelsea scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Bernd Leno of Leverkusen (C) and Didier Drogba of Chelsea battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Frank Lampard of Chelsea looks dejected after losing 1-2 the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: (L-R) John Terry, John Obi Mikel and Ramires of Chelsea look dejected after losing 1-2 during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Manuel Friedrich of Leverkusen sings with the fans after winning 2-1 during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Manuel Friedrich of Leverkusen sings with the fans after winning 2-1 during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Manuel Friedrich of Leverkusen sings with the fans after winning 2-1 during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Eren Derdiyok (C) of Leverkusen celebrates with his team mates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: (L-R) Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel and Ramires of Chelsea look dejected after losing 1-2 the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Manuel Friedrich (2nd L) of Leverkusen scores the second goal against Peter Cech of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Ballack (C) of Leverkusen smiles after the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Peter Cech of Chelsea (2nd L) gets the second goal of Manuel Friedrich of Leverkusen (not in the picture) during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Didier Drogba of Chelsea is seen during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Manuel Friedrich of Leverkusen celebrates after the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: (L-R) John Terry, Florent Malouda and Ramires of Chelsea look dejected after losing 1-2 the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Head coach André Villas-Boas of Chelsea issues instructions during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Chelsea at BayArena on November 23, 2011 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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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