Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Abramovich Wants Answers after Euro Exit; Owner Meets Ancelotti at Cobham in Wake of Chelsea's Costly Defeat by Jose's Inter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Abramovich Wants Answers after Euro Exit; Owner Meets Ancelotti at Cobham in Wake of Chelsea's Costly Defeat by Jose's Inter

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson and Tom Collomosse

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH held an inquest at Chelsea's training ground today following their dismal exit to Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Standard Sport understands the Chelsea owner made the trip to Cobham to meet with coach Carlo Ancelotti after they lost 1-0 to Jose Mourinho's side at Stamford Bridge and crashed out at the last-16 stage 3-1 on aggregate.

It is normal for the Russian billionaire to be seen at the training ground and there is no suggestion the former AC Milan coach's position is under threat at this stage but he was hired to win the Champions League and has failed at the first attempt.

Ancelotti told fans at a club event last week that he talks with Abramovich once a month about squad matters. He said: "Roman is very interested in his team. We meet together maybe one time a month. We like to when he doesn't have to deal with his job and he stays in Cobham. We like to discuss everything, because he likes football, he likes Chelsea, the Chelsea players and he wants to know everything -- the injuries, performance of the players and tactical questions. He is a competent man."

But the timing of any conversations today would appear to be far more significant. Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari have all been sacked in the past three years for failing to meet the owner's standards in Europe.

Ancelotti admitted after last night's game that he will now be under strain having seen his side lose four of their last eight matches, which has also put their title hopes in the balance.

He said: "I've worked a long time in this environment and it is normal that the manager comes under more pressure if he loses a few matches."

Chelsea could be trailing Manchester United by five points in the Premier League by the time they take on Blackburn on Sunday, while they face a tough FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa next month. …

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