Chelsea play down rift talks
Chelsea have denied claims owner Roman Abramovich held 'showdown' talks with manager Andre Villas-Boas before the club's breathtaking 3-3 draw with Manchester United.
The Blues confirmed Abramovich spoke to Villas-Boas during a visit to the club's training ground on Saturday before watching Sunday's Barclays Premier League game at Stamford Bridge. But they insist the Russian billionaire is fully behind the 34-year-old's project, following a report he had become frustrated with results under the Portuguese.
A spokesman said: "Roman likes to get down to Cobham and watch training whenever he can. He was able to visit on Saturday and he and Andre had a good chat after the training session, which is normal."
It is thought Saturday was the first time Abramovich had watched Chelsea train this season, with the 45-year-old's focus having been on his high-profile court case with former associate Boris Berezovsky.
He spent 35 minutes casting his eye over the session before spending another 20 speaking with Villas-Boas.
He also spent half an hour talking to players in the dressing room after the United game, which saw Chelsea controversially held to a draw having led 3-0.
The match provided just the kind of entertainment Abramovich is believed to demand, but represented more points lost from a winning position by the Blues at home this season.