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VILLAS GOAS; CRISIS AT STAMFORD BRIDGE.

Byline: PAUL SMITH

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS is one bad Champions League defeat away from the sack.

If the Blues endure the kind of Euro set-back against Napoli on Tuesday that hit Arsenal in Milan last Wednesday, there may be no escaping the axe for AVB (right).

After seeing his team perform poorly again in the FA Cup draw against Birmingham even the 34 year-old boss recognised he is fighting for survival.

Asked if he was convinced he would remain in his job after the trip to Napoli AVB said: "It's not up to me, you have to ask that question to the right person."

That was a long way from his earlier claims that he retained the absolute support of owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea fans booed their beleagured boss and lacklustre team.

"It was a quite poor result," Villas-Boas said. "A draw is not what we were expecting but it gives us another chance at Birmingham to continue trying to win the trophy.

"The aggression was there and the desire and ambition, but I think Birmingham matched us today in that sense."

Championship side Birmingham lost captain Stephen Carr to a 12thminute injury but took the lead eight minutes later when David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic failed to clear a corner, giving David Murphy the chance to smash the ball home.

Juan Mata had a penalty saved and it took a secondhalf header from Daniel Sturridge to earn the Blues a replay.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 19, 2012
Words:241
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