Villas-Boas faces 'life or death' test after another Chelsea loss

Run of defeats heaps pressure on young manager ahead of critical fixtures in December

LAST UPDATED AT 10:24 ON Wed 30 Nov 2011

LIVERPOOL inflicted a third defeat in four home games on troubled Chelsea and manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted afterwards "we just haven't been good enough". The Portugese now faces a daunting run of fixtures that could decide his future.

His side crashed out of the Carling Cup last night, losing 2-0 to in-form Liverpool with a performance The  Daily Mail described as "toothless and feeble".

Villas-Boas admitted the Champions League match against Valencia next week has now assumed "life or death" significance. The Blues must secure a win or goalless draw to progress in Europe's elite competition, and the consequences of elimination at the group stage – for the first time in the Abramovich era - are unthinkable.

Chelsea have also slipped to fifth in the league and must repair the damage against high calibre opponents, with crunch fixtures against Newcastle, Manchester City and Tottenham in December.

The Chelsea boss acknowledged the "anxious" atmosphere at Stamford Bridge last night, as supporters endured another limp performance at a stadium that has been virtually impregnable since Abramovich took the reigns. Between 2004 and 2008, the team racked up a record 86 match unbeaten run in league fixtures. They have now lost three home games in a month.

Villas Boas is now odds-on not to survive the season, and is among the leaders of the 'sack race'. While Abramovich paid around £13m to release the Portugese from his contract at Porto, and will be loathe to write off such an investment, the Russian is not known for his patience and none of his previous six managers have survived a trophy-less season. · 

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