Champions League - Villas-Boas still defiant

Tue, 21 Feb 23:55:00 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has insisted Chelsea's 3-1 Champions League defeat at Napoli does not signal the end of his spell in charge of the club.

2011-12 Champions League Chelsea Andre Villas-Boas - 0

Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani combined to spark Napoli's 3-1 comeback win in Italy to deepen the gloom hanging over the London side.

Chelsea have now won only two of their last 10 Premier League games and drew against second tier opponents in the FA Cup last weekend.

Yet, asked if he expected to be in charge by the time his side host Napoli for the return leg on March 14, Villas-Boas told Sky Sports: "Yeah, for sure."

Lavezzi and Cavani made the difference in a match where the visitors had taken the lead through Juan Mata before squandering two more chances and putting under-fire manager Villas-Boas under yet more pressure.

Lavezzi scored Napoli's first and third goals, the first of the competition for the Argentine and both laid on by Cavani who notched the other himself. The prolific Uruguayan took his tally to six in the Champions League and 19 in his last seven outings.

Napoli's win left England in danger of missing out on the quarter-finals after Arsenal, the Premier League's only other team in the last 16, were thumped 4-0 at AC Milan last week.

Chelsea's day had got off to a bad start with news that captain John Terry could be sidelined for several weeks after aggravating a knee injury and it soon got worse.

"After the first goal, we missed opportunities to go 2-0 up and then we should have defended better but we made a couple of mistakes against Napoli with their attack you are going to get punished," said Villas-Boas.

"I think the third goal was perfectly avoidable ... We can create problems with our attacking options and we created problems (for them) today.

"It is a game of efficiency and Napoli had it. I think the statistics are very similar for both teams. Both teams created a lot. The game was open."

Napoli were missing coach Walter Mazzarri who was banned for both legs after he was sent off for pushing Villarreal forward Nilmar in a group match, a move he said was intended to galvanise his team.

They were fired up enough without him, although Lavezzi refused to get carried away, saying: "I was happy to score but the important thing was that the team won. We haven't qualified yet."

ITW Mata

Eurosport / Reuters

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