- Premier League
Chelsea confirm crunch Abramovich meeting
Chelsea have confirmed that owner Roman Abramovich met with manager Andre Villas-Boas and his players following the club's 2-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.
Abramovich, who has presided over seven managers in eight years, has taken an unusually close interest in training recently and, with Chelsea struggling, Villas-Boas' future at the club has been called into question.
Villas-Boas ordered his players to turn up at the Blues' Cobham training headquarters on Sunday morning, where all the staff were again greeted by Abramovich.
Chelsea have not won in four Premier League games and have slipped out of the Champions League qualifying places, but the Blues maintain Villas-Boas' position is not under threat and that Abramovich's active interest is perfectly normal.
Indeed, almost two years ago, Chelsea went on to win the double when the Russian held a post-mortem into their Champions League defeat to Inter Milan. There is little chance of a repeat this season, with the Blues now 17 points behind league leaders Manchester City in fifth spot.
Villas-Boas said the performance at Everton was one of the poorest since he took charge last summer and goalkeeper Petr Cech agreed it was simply not good enough.
He told Chelsea TV: "When you lose a game 2-0 and you are Chelsea Football Club playing for the Champions League and with big expectations, losing is not good enough and the performance was not good enough, that's why we lost. We took so many passes side to side and we never really opened them up.
"In the second half, we tried to play more direct but they were fighting well and kept organised, and 1-0 up so early became so much more difficult to break [down]."