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Di Matteo calls for increase in performance level for future Champions League fixtures

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Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has warned his players that they will have to step up their game for their future fixtures in the Champions League in order to qualify for the knockout stages, reports The Telegraph.

Although the European champions came away with a flattering 4-0 scoreline from last night's game against Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen, it was a tight match, with Chelsea scoring thrice in the last eleven minutes. Athough Di Matteo was not overtly happy with the performance, he seemed pleased to grab a win which puts them on top in a challenging group consisting of Ukrainian side Shakhtar and Italian champions Juventus.

With Chelsea facing Shakhtar next in the competition, Di Matteo said, "The Ukrainian champions are a very good team, and it's going to be hard for us to qualify. For us, it was important to win. The scoreline shows four goals scored and none conceded, so that's pleasing. Away from home, it's not easy in this competition."

Although Chelsea have been better this season in their away group matches compared to last season, when they surrendered a lead regularly on their travels, Di Matteo said that they would have to considerably up their level of play to defeat a strong side like Shakhtar. "There are no pushovers in the Champions League - look at Bayern losing, and United having to come back," said Di Matteo, referring to last night, when Bayern Munich suffered a shock loss at BATE Borisov, and Manchester had to come from behind against Cluj.