The Straits Times
Published on Dec 04, 2012

Unwanted history beckons for beleaguered Chelsea


LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) - Even victory at home to FC Nordsjaelland on Wednesday may not prevent Chelsea from becoming the first Champions League holders to go out at the group phase the following season.

Without a win in seven games in the Premier League and with interim coach Rafael Benitez already under pressure, the European champions stand only a slim chance of squeezing into the last 16.

Their 3-0 humbling at Juventus in Roberto Di Matteo's last game in charge two weeks ago means the London club can only progress if they win and Juve lose at Shakhtar Donetsk in the other Group E game.

Shakhtar have already qualified, but Juventus require only a point to join them in the knockout phase and a draw would also ensure that the Ukrainian champions finish top of the group.