LONDON: Andre Villas-Boas was fired by Chelsea after barely eight months in charge of the Premier League club on Sunday, leaving owner Roman Abramovich searching for his eighth manager in nine years.
The Russian oligarch lost patience with the 34-year-old Villas-Boas after a 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday left the club fifth in the league and out of the lucrative Champions League qualification places.
"Andre Villas-Boas has parted company with Chelsea," the club said in a statement. "The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early.
"Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season."
First team coach Roberto Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player and West Bromwich Albion manager, will take charge of the Blues until the end of the season.
"The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts," Chelsea said. "With that in mind, we felt our only option was to make a change at this time."
Villas-Boas has been in football management for less than three years but was hired by Chelsea after winning an incredible quadruple at FC Porto last season.
Villas-Boas has been under constant pressure since replacing Carlo Ancelotti, who was fired after failing to win a trophy last season despite a league and FA Cup double the previous year. That change of mangers cost Chelsea 28 million pounds ($45 million) in compensation.