The Straits Times
Published on Nov 08, 2012

Di Matteo sounds the alarm over Chelsea fragility


LONDON (AFP) - Roberto Di Matteo says Chelsea must tighten up defensively after seeing his side revitalise their Champions League title defence with a last-ditch 3-2 win at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.

The hosts were seconds from an unhelpful draw that would have left them in third place in Group E, when substitute Victor Moses met Juan Mata's injury-time corner with a header that found the top-right corner.

They now lead Shakhtar by virtue of a better head-to-head record and are a point clear of Juventus, who play host to Chelsea on Nov 20 in a game that could decide whether or not the champions progress to the last 16.

Di Matteo admitted that the manner of Wednesday's victory had carried "an element of luck," and he castigated his players for twice letting the lead slip from their grasp. "The fact we couldn't hold onto the lead twice worked against us. We need to work on closing out games," said the Italian, who has seen his team ship 14 goals in their last six games.