Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as the head coach of Sevilla, an official statement from the club has confirmed. The 56-year-old led the Spanish club to another disappointing night in the Champions League, falling to an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan against Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund cruised past Sevilla in Wednesday night’s Group G encounter, scoring three goals in the first half to put the game beyond reach for the Spaniards. Raphael Guerreiro, Jude Bellingham and Karim Adeyemi put the visitors in control before Julian Brandt delivered the final blow in the second half after Youssef El-Neysri had gotten the consolation for the hosts.
The night’s defeat meant that Sevilla face an uphill task in their bid to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition as they are currently tied on one point at the base of the table with FC Copenhagen. The situation also follows a poor start to the season in the domestic league that has seen Lopetegui’s side languishing in 17th position on the La Liga table.
Following the conclusion of Wednesday’s game, Lopetegui confirmed in his post-match interview that he was vacating his post as the manager of Sevilla. A statement subsequently appeared on the club’s official website confirming the Spanish coach’s revelation.
It read: “Sevilla FC have dismissed Julen Lopetegui as coach of the first team after the clash between the Nervion team and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
“Lopetegui closes a successful stage with three magnificent campaigns in which the objectives were more than achieved and a fourth season in which, however, the results have not been on track, with Sevilla FC adding five points out of a possible 21 in La Liga.
“In total, Asteasu’s man has managed Sevilla FC on 170 occasions: 121 games in LaLiga, 15 in the Copa del Rey, 16 in the Europa League, 17 in the Champions League and one in the European Super Cup.
“This makes him the fifth coach with the most official matches in Sevilla history after Joaquín Caparrós, Unai Emery, Manolo Cardo and Ramón Encinas. The balance is 89 wins, 45 draws and 36 losses, which also leads him to third place in official victories, only behind Caparrós and Emery.
“Lopetegui will forever be among the highlights of Sevilla FC’s history for his brilliant achievement of the sixth UEFA Europa League in the 2019/20 season, his first in charge, which gave him entry to the select club of seven coaches who have raised a national or international degree in Nervión.
“Likewise, he has achieved the historic milestone of achieving three consecutive qualifications for the Champions League via LaLiga, with a total of 222 points in 121 games.
“With him, in addition, Sevilla FC achieved the scoring record to date in the First Division with 77 points in 2020/21, as well as the first Zamora Trophy in its history, that of Yassine Bono last season.
“Sevilla FC has offered Julen Lopetegui the option of being able to say goodbye publicly at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán facilities.
“The Nervión entity wants to underline and thank the professionalism and good work of the Basque coach in the more than three years he has been in the house, as well as wish him the best of luck and the greatest success in his new professional projects.”
It is not all doom for Lopetegui as he is expected to be confirmed as the new boss of Wolves in the coming days. The Premier League outfit recently sacked head coach Bruno Lage and have had the Sevilla boss linked to potentially occupy the vacant position in the past week.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hits back at criticism from Aubameyang
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reacted to criticism from former captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, stressing that the current Arsenal’s dressing room is the best he has been in.
The Spanish manager insisted that his current squad is more hardworking than in previous years.
Aubameyang left the Emirates stadium for Barcelona in controversial circumstances after a fall-out with Arteta over disciplinary issues.
He, however, returned to England after a six months stint at the Camp Nou, signing for Chelsea.
A video emerged recently of the Gabonese International slamming Arteta over his management skills.
“To manage big characters or big players, he (Arteta) can’t deal with it. He (Arteta) needs some young players, they don’t say anything, they listen,” Aubameyang was recorded as saying in an interview with A Jewellers.
Arteta was asked about Aubameyang’s comments on the eve of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt.
‘People are free to discuss what they want,’ he told reporters in Norway.
‘I have never been in a better dressing room (than this season) – more enjoyable, more hard-working, a better relationship between staff and players and it is an absolute pleasure as a coach to be a part of this group.’
The Gunners sit top of the Premier League table after beating Liverpool 3-2 on Sunday, with Bukayo Saka grabbing a brace.
In the Europa League, they also sit on top of their group table, and will face Bodo/Glimt on Thursday in Matchday 4 of the Europa League.
Chaos at PSG: Kylian Mbappe and sporting advisor Luís Campos want to leave the Ligue 1 giants this January
PSG are gearing up for a crucial UEFA Champions League showdown with Benfica on Tuesday, but on the day of that interesting European fixture, several shocking reports have broken regarding the behind-the-scenes mayhem at the club.
The first involves star player Kylian Mbappe, who just recently signed a new deal at the Parc des Princes. However, despite snubbing the opportunity to join Real Madrid for free over the summer, the Frenchman has reportedly grown frustrated with the French champions and now wants out.
RMC initially broke this news, with Marca later posting an exclusive, claiming that the relationship between Mbappe and PSG has completely broken down. The attacker, who has scored eight goals in nine Ligue 1 outings and netted three in three in the UEFA Champions League, feels betrayed by his employers and is ready to leave.
This story has also been corroborated by well-known French journalist Julien Laurens, which is a concern for the Parisiens fans. And to make things worse, Kylian wishes to leave the capital this January.
The reasons are simple: before signing his new deal, the 23-year-old was made several promises by the PSG board, and many have not been kept. The goalscorer is particularly upset with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari ownership, and Antero Henrique.
It’s no secret that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner prefers to play in a two-man attack, similar to the French national team where he plays off of Olivier Giroud. However, under Galtier, Mbappe remains merely a member of a star-studded three-man attack alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Hence, he is not the jewel in the crown, the man the team is built around. Instead, he continues to share the spotlight with the Argentine and Brazilian superstars.
As a result, the player wishes to leave this winter but it remains uncertain whether Real Madrid, the club he desires to join, will make a move for the Frenchman. Marca claim that his PSG deal is until 2024, not 2025 as publicly reported, but any attempt to land the world-class attacker will be difficult nonetheless.
As for Luis Campos, Le Parisien reports that the Portuguese sporting advisor could leave if Mbappe departs as the pair enjoy a lovely relationship from their time together at Monaco. Additionally, Campos is also unhappy with Henrique, the man tasked with spearheading the club’s transfer negotiations, as he failed to sell the unwanted players last summer, which then prevented the club from strengthening as initially planned.
Ronaldo scores 700th club goal of his career
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 700th club goal of his career after coming off the bench to put Manchester United in front at Everton on Sunday.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been relegated to the bench for the majority of Erik ten Hag’s time in charge at United, but made his entrance on the half-hour mark to replace the injured Anthony Martial.
It took Ronaldo just 14 minutes to net his first Premier League goal of the season as he latched onto Casemiro’s pass before firing low past Jordan Pickford to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
That strike took the 37-year-old’s tally in two spells with United to 144. Real Madrid’s record goalscorer hit 450 for the Spanish giants, while he scored 101 times for Juventus and five for Sporting Lisbon.
The Portugal captain also holds the record for goals at international level with 117.
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