Luciano Spalletti has been sacked as head coach of Zenit St Petersburg only a week before the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.
The 55-year-old Italian was dismissed after the 0-0 draw at home to Tom Tomsk on Sunday allowed Lokomotiv Moscow to replace them at the top of the Premier League. His contract ran until 2015, and there are 10 league matches remaining this season.
Sergei Semak, a former Russia captain, has been placed in temporary charge. "We would like to thank Luciano Spalletti for everything that he has done to develop football and we will always be glad to see him in St Petersburg. Grazie, Mister," the club said in a statement.
The former Roma and Udinese manager took charge in December 2009 and led Zenit to two Premier League titles and one Russian Cup. He was named Russia's coach of the season in the 2010 and 2012 seasons.
Zenit saw their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time all but disappear with a 4-2 first-leg home loss to Dortmund. The return in Germany takes place on 19 March.
Semak has been handed his first head coach position and the 38-year-old's first game will be against CSKA Moscow on Saturday, before they fly to Germany. He spent a decade playing with CSKA Moscow before joining Paris St Germain in 2004. He later had spells with FC Moscow and Rubin Kazan before finishing his career with Zenit in May and then joining Spalletti's coaching staff.
News source: Guardian
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City news archive for 12 March' 2014.
City news archive for March' 2014.
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