20 Apr 2012

Di Matteo seems a perfect match for rejuvenated Chelsea

6:15 am on 20 April 2012

Chelsea's transformation from a team seemingly heading nowhere to one that is just 90 minutes away from the Champions League football final means interim coach Roberto Di Matteo has emerged as the clear favourite to be handed the job permanently.

The 42-year-old's astute tactics, mixed with plenty of luck and some resolute defending, secured a 1-0 win over reigning European champions Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their semi-final.

Despite Barca enjoying 72 percent possession and 19 attempts on goal, Chelsea's victory, coupled with their 5-1 thrashing of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final on Monday, have put Di Matteo's men within sight of two trophies.

Six weeks ago, under former coach Andre Villas-Boas, the only thing that looked like arriving at Stamford Bridge in May was a new broom to sweep away what the sacked Portuguese boss had regarded as dead wood.