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Di Matteo insists Terry remains vital to Chelsea cause

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By Andrew Tuft

Thursday 08 November 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has rubbished suggestions that his decision to leave John Terry out of Chelsea’s vital Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk is a sign that the former England captain’s days are numbered at Stamford Bridge, according to the Daily Telegraph.

John Terry warming up

Di Matteo preferred the centre-back partnership of David Luiz and Gary Cahill and saw his side snatch a dramatic 3-2 victory when Victor Moses converted a Juan Mata cross in the dying seconds of the match. Chelsea had twice led the contest thanks to goals from Fernando Torres and Oscar, only to be pulled back to level terms by a Willian brace before Moses’ final intervention.

But the absence from the starting XI of Terry raised a few eyebrows, with the Telegraph revealing that it was the first time since 2003 that the skipper has been left out of a potentially decisive European fixture. Indeed, if Chelsea had failed to win they would have been left in a difficult position in Group E as a commanding Juventus win over Nordsjaelland would have seen the Italians leapfrog Chelsea into second place, rendering Chelsea’s upcoming visit to Turin as a must-win game. As it stands now, Chelsea can afford to draw away at Juventus and still be well-placed to progress.

On the subject of Terry, Di Matteo said: “Considering the last four weeks in his professional life he has [played] one competitive game, and I thought we needed people that were 100 per cent match fit for a game like this. But I am very glad that he is available for us.

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