Out of the Blue: Di Matteo did not tell Euro stars about looming final bans
Published 12:34 28/04/12 By Mirror Football
Roberto Di Matteo has admitted he deliberately did not tell his Chelsea players which of them were one booking away from missing the Champions League final ahead of their sensational victory over Barcelona.
The interim boss insisted he had no regrets about hiding the truth from them, despite seeing four of them suspended for next month's Munich showpiece.
Di Matteo's extraordinary revelation came in the wake of defender Branislav Ivanovic's stunned reaction on live television after Tuesday night's semi-final triumph to being told he would miss the final.
Ivanovic admitted he had no idea he had been walking a disciplinary tightrope, something made all the more galling by the fact his yellow card was for kicking the penalty spot in frustration.
Ramires was also booked for dissent, although Raul Meireles and John Terry - the latter of whom saw red - did appear fully aware of the consequences of their actions.
Di Matteo said: "I decided not to tell them because I wanted them to focus just on the game, and there isn't an issue with any of the players."
Insisting he would not have done differently in hindsight, he added: "As you saw the other night, you can be booked for anything. You have to focus on the task you have to do."
Final opponents Bayern Munich also have three players suspended for next month's match.
But unlike Chelsea, who face arguably five crunch games before the Allianz Arena showdown, Bundesliga runners-up Bayern have only three matches, two of which are meaningless.
Asked if that gave the German giants the edge, Di Matteo said ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with QPR: "Only time will tell.
"We'll have to go full blast while we theoretically have a chance to finish in the fourth spot.
"They've lost the league, so they're in a different situation. But we'll have to try and look after ourselves."
Di Matteo admitted Bayern were "clear favourites" playing at their own stadium.
He added of Chelsea's underdogs tag: "I don't know whether it'll suit us or not, if it's an advantage or not. It's all theory, really."