Bayern Munich fires Ancelotti; appoints Sagnol interim coach
MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich fired Carlo Ancelotti as coach on Thursday after the German team’s heaviest Champions League group-stage defeat.
Wednesday’s 3-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain led club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to warn of “consequences” after what he called a “very bitter defeat.”
Bayern said the 40-year-old Willy Sagnol, a former Bayern defender who was Ancelotti’s assistant, will take over the team on an interim basis.
Ancelotti, who won the Bundesliga in his first season in charge after taking over from Pep Guardiola, endured a shaky start to his second season. Bayern lost to Hoffenheim in the third round of the league and let a two-goal lead slip in a 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg last Friday. Bayern is three points behind leader Borussia Dortmund after six rounds.
“Our team’s performances did not meet our expectations from the start of the season. The game in Paris clearly showed that we had to draw consequences. That’s what I told (sporting director) Hasan Salihamidzic and Carlo today in an open and serious talk, and I told him our decision,” Rummenigge said.
Ancelotti’s team of assistants — his son Davide, Giovanni Mauri, Francesco Mauri and Mino Fulco — was also released by the club.
“I would like to thank Carlo for our work together and regret the development it has taken,” Rummenigge said. “Carlo is my friend and will remain so, but we had to make a professional decision on Bayern’s behalf. I now expect the team to develop positively with absolute dedication so we can reach our goals for this season.”
Ancelotti led Real Madrid to its 10th Champions League title in 2014 after claiming two with Milan in 2003 and 2007, and he was appointed by the Bayern bosses primarily for success in Europe’s premier competition. Bayern was already dominating the Bundesliga with a record four straight titles and the fifth was considered a minimum return.
While the league title duly arrived in his one and only full season, Ancelotti’s Bayern was outclassed by Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and knocked out in the semifinals of the German Cup by Borussia Dortmund. Madrid and Dortmund went on to win the respective titles.
Both Ancelotti and predecessor Pep Guardiola, who failed to win the Champions League in three seasons at Bayern despite being considered one of the world’s best coaches, toiled to meet expectations following Jupp Heynckes’ Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble in 2013.
Altogether, Ancelotti had three defeats and eight draws in 40 Bundesliga games with Bayern.
According to data company Opta, Ancelotti’s team conceded 10 goals in its first 10 competitive games this season - its most porous defense since Jurgen Klinsmann’s team in 2008.
Bayern next faces Hertha Berlin away in the Bundesliga on Sunday.