London, November 21 - Chelsea said Wednesday that they have fired Italian coach Roberto Di Matteo after Tuesday's 3-0 defeat at Juventus left the reigning European champions on the brink of being knocked out of the Champions League. Di Matteo was promoted from being assistant to head coach of the London club when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March and he went on to lead them to their first ever Champions League title and victory in the FA Cup last term. Tuesday's loss, however, means they are likely to become the first reigning title-holders to be knocked out in the group stage of the Champions League. If Juventus draw with Shaktar Donetsk in their last Group E game, Chelsea, who are owned by demanding Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, will go out even if they beat Denmark's Nordsjaelland. "The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season," read a statement on Chelsea's website. "The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. "Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. "We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge. "The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager".