What the papers say
A look at what is making the headlines on the back pages of Thursday's press.
THE TIMES: Rafael Benitez was entrusted last night with Chelsea's short-term future after the abrupt dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo, but the former Liverpool manager's contract includes the option of an extra 12 months should the club fail to land Pep Guardiola. ALSO: It was far too little, far too late but at least Manchester City found the stomach for the fight last night before their second campaign in the Champions League came to a disappointingly premature end.
DAILY EXPRESS: Rafa Benitez stepped into the hottest seat in world football when he agreed to become Chelsea's caretaker manager. But just how long will he last? ALSO: Roberto Mancini could be the second manager in two days to be sacked for failure in the Champions League as Manchester City were dumped out at the group stage for a second successive season last night.
DAILY STAR: Rafa Benitez is the new Chelsea boss - but Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are already waiting in the wings. ALSO: Manchester City were finally put out of their misery in the Champions League last night.
DAILY MAIL: Rafa Benitez will meet Chelsea's shell-shocked players today after being appointed interim manager in the wake of Roberto Di Matteo's brutal dismissal. ALSO: To go out was bad enough, but it was a result from mainland Europe that put the misery of Manchester City's second Champions League campaign into sharp relief.
DAILY MIRROR: Manchester City last night embarrassingly crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage once again. ALSO: Rafa Benitez will walk into a Stamford Bridge bearpit on Sunday after being appointed Roman Abramovich's ninth Chelsea manager.
THE GUARDIAN: Chelsea have appointed Rafael Benitez as their interim manager until the end of the season after the European champions reacted ruthlessly to the team's recent slump by sacking Roberto Di Matteo only six months after he won the Champions League. ALSO: At least Manchester City spared themselves another defeat on their way out of the Champions League.
THE SUN: Roberto Di Matteo was warned he would be sacked if he axed £50million flop Fernando Torres. ALSO: Roberto Mancini was down and out last night - but still in a job.
THE INDEPENDENT: Rafael Benitez was confirmed last night as the interim successor to Roberto Di Matteo as manager of Chelsea, with scope for the former Liverpool Champions League winner to stay in the job long-term if he is successful. ALSO: Andre Villas-Boas painted a vivd picture of the brutal reality of life as Chelsea manager by claiming that sackings represent "just another day at the office" at Stamford Bridge.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: Roman Abramovich risked a backlash from supporters and six months of intrigue by appointing Rafael Benitez as interim manager until the end of the season, leaving the way clear for the appointment of Pep Guardiola in the summer. ALSO: In two fraught days England's leading club were carried out with the Champions League recycling and Europe's defending champions were all but eliminated.