Di Matteo: Chelsea must beat Shakhtar Donetsk
Chelsea news: Roberto Di Matteo issues Chelsea rallying cry
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has told his players they must beat Shakhtar Donetsk in their next Champions League group match, or face elimination from the competition.
The Blues would become the first defending champions to exit at the group stage if they fail to progress, as the Stamford Bridge side went down 2-1 in Ukraine last night.
That result leaves qualification in the balance, and Di Matteo admitted the Blues must win their next two home Champions League matches if they are to qualify, starting with Shakhtar in two weeks time.
"We need to win our remaining home games, for sure," said Di Matteo in the Daily Mail. "The consolation was the draw in Copenhagen. It shows it's a difficult competition but certainly we have to win our home against Shakhtar."
Chelsea find themselves in a group alongside Serie 'A' champions Juventus, as well as Shakhtar and Copenhagen, but the Blues only have four points from their first three games.
An opening draw at home to Juventus was followed by victory in Denmark, but defeat in Ukraine has left Chelsea struggling to qualify.
Their next two home matches against Shakhtar and Copenhagen become must-win games as Di Matteo's side face an extremely difficult trip to Italy to face Juventus.
There was more bad news as Frank Lampard suffered a recurrence of the calf injury which ruled him out of the last two England games, and is now a doubt to face Manchester United in the Premier League at the weekend.
Chelsea currently sit atop the Premier League table, four points clear of Sir Alex Ferguson's side going into their crunch fixture at Stamford Bridge.