Bayern sacks Ancelotti after PSG drubbing

AFP
Bayern Munich sacks coach Carlo Ancelotti a day after the German champion lost 0-3 at Paris Saint- Germain in the UEFA Champions League.
AFP
Reuters

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti gestures during their UEFA Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 27, 2017. Bayern lost 0-3 as a result of which the German Bundesliga club sacked the Italian.

Bayern Munich has sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti in the wake of its UEFA Champions League defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, the club announced on Thursday.

"Following an internal analysis in Munich on Thursday 28 September 2017... the club is to part company with head coach Carlo Ancelotti with immediate effect," Bayern said in a statement on its website.

Former player Willy Sagnol, the former France international who had been serving as an assistant to Ancelotti, has been named interim coach.

Pressure had already been building on Ancelotti with Bayern enduring an inconsistent start to the season before losing 0-3 to PSG in the French capital on Wednesday.

After that game the Italian was questioned by German media about his tactics and team selection, following his decision to leave Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mats Hummels on the bench at kickoff.

"The performance of our team since the start of the season did not meet the expectations we put to them," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"The game in Paris clearly showed that we had to draw consequences. (Sporting director) Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious discussion with Carlo today and informed him of our decision.

"Carlo is my friend and will remain so, but we had to make a professional decision in the interests of FC Bayern. I now expect the team to have a positive development and top performance, so we can reach our goals for this season."

Bayern is currently third in the Bundesliga table after six games, three points behind leader Borussia Dortmund, before visiting Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

It has not been so far off the pace at the top of the Bundesliga so early in a season since 2010/11, when Dortmund went on to win the title and Bayern finished third.

Bundesliga title

Ancelotti, 58, led Bayern to a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title last season in his first campaign in charge after succeeding Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.

However, the Bavarians lost to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the UCL and to Dortmund in the semifinals of the German Cup.

Ancelotti has also coached Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG and Real.

Among the potential replacements being mentioned is Thomas Tuchel, currently a free agent after leaving Dortmund at the end of last season.

Ancelotti, who led Real to its 10th UCL title in 2014 after claiming two titles with Milan in 2003 and 2007, was appointed by the Bayern bosses primarily for success in Europe's premier competition, The Associated Press reported.

Bayern won the last of its five titles in 2013 with Jupp Heynckes at the helm for what was a treble, including Bundesliga and German Cup titles.

Heynckes' successor Guardiola and Ancelotti have suffered by way of comparison. Despite being considered one of the best coaches in the game, Guardiola failed to win the UCL in three seasons with Bayern. Ancelotti's side was outclassed by eventual champion Real last season, but it is Bayern's performances against other sides that have been causing most concern.

Bayern struggled to beat 10-man Anderlecht in a flattering 3-0 home win to open its UCL campaign earlier this month, and the side's performances away from home in the competition have also been causing alarm.

Ancelotti's side has won only two of its last nine European away games, losing five.

Robben, who had tempted fate in Paris by telling PSG — which made a splash in the offseason by making big-money buys like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe — "Money doesn't score goals", was more reticent after the UCL match.

"Every word I say is one too many," the Dutch winger said in response to questions over his substitute role.

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