Mourinho’s time runs out at Chelsea

first_imgLONDON (AP): Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea ended prematurely Thursday with the team in decline only seven months after the Portuguese coach won his third Premier League title with the club. Although Chelsea are only one point above the relegation zone, the 52-year-old Mourinho had been defiantly insisting he was the right man to oversee the team even as it collapsed on the field with a succession of humiliations. Mourinho’s departure, characterised by Chelsea as “mutual”, came two and a half years after his return to Stamford Bridge and only four months into a new four-year contract. The worst-ever start for a defending champion team in the Premier League was compounded on Monday by a 2-1 loss at surprise leaders Leicester. After the match, Mourinho said he was “betrayed” by his players. The personal conduct of the self-styled ‘Special One’ was also proving damaging to Chelsea, with Mourinho engaging in public spats with referees, a television-rights holder and even the club’s doctor over the last year. Chelsea are engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Dr Eva Carneiro after she was publicly criticised and then demoted following Mourinho’s opening-day outburst. Now it is Mourinho leaving Chelsea, with Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich preparing for his 10th managerial appointment since buying the team in 2003 and transforming its fortunes with a huge injection of cash. “Both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways,” Chelsea said in a statement. STILL ON GOOD TERMS “The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.” Throughout weeks of turmoil, Mourinho retained the support of fans who loyally chanted his name. There was no immediate announcement about a replacement ahead of tomorrow’s home match against Sunderland. “The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential,” Chelsea said. First hired by Chelsea in 2004, the Portuguese coach ended a 50-year league-title drought and defended the trophy among other successes before losing a power struggle three years later with Abramovich. He was brought back in 2013 by Abramovich in an attempt to restore unity to the club following the divisiveness caused by the appointment of Rafa Benitez as interim manager, who was regularly jeered by fans. Mourinho presented himself as a figure transformed from the fiery character who fell out with Abramovich in 2007, but it was not long before the combativeness returned. He survived a first trophyless season back at Stamford Bridge before cruising to the title in May. “All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013,” Chelsea said. “His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history.”last_img read more

Barcelona reaches Copa quarters but could be disqualified

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Levante said it will make a formal complaint to the Spanish soccer federation on Friday, ahead of the draw for the quarterfinals.The four-time defending Copa champion has denied any wrongdoing for using youth player Juan “Chumi” Brandariz in last week’s match in Valencia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“We don’t have any doubts,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “We believe we will be in the draw tomorrow. We did everything right and we won on the field, which is where we had to win.”Levante said Chumi should not have played because of an accumulation of yellow cards with Barcelona’s “B” team, arguing that his suspension applied to the senior team as well, including in Copa matches. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history MOST READ FC Barcelona’s Dembele, right, celebrates after scoring with teammates his side’s second goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey soccer match between FC Barcelona and Levante at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — Barcelona earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday, but its continued participation in the tournament remains under threat.Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele led Barcelona to a comfortable 3-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou Stadium, helping it advance 4-2 on aggregate. However, the Catalan club could be disqualified for allegedly using a suspended player in the first leg.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Qatar, Japan advance in Asian Cup with perfect records Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments “We prefer to win on the field, but the regulations exist and everyone needs to follow them,” Levante coach Paco Lopez said. “Let’s see what happens.”The Spanish federation is expected to rule on Levante’s complaint before Friday’s draw.Real Madrid was eliminated in the tournament’s round of 16 in 2015 for using striker Denis Cheryshev while he was suspended.“We are surprised, we found out about it by the press,” Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives said. “We analyzed the situation and concluded that Chumi’s participation was legal.”With Messi back in the lineup after being rested in the first leg, Barcelona easily reversed the 2-1 deficit from the first match. The Argentine playmaker set up goals by Dembele in the 30th and 31st minutes, then sealed the victory by scoring in the 54th.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Barcelona has made it at least to the quarterfinals in the Copa in nine straight seasons. It won the title five times in the last seven years.Earlier Thursday, Espanyol defeated Villarreal 3-1 at home with two goals by striker Borja Iglesias to advance 5-3 on aggregate, while Real Betis salvaged a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad to reach the last eight on away goals after a 0-0 first-leg draw.Real Madrid, Girona, Valencia, Getafe and Sevilla also made it to the quarterfinals. Atletico Madrid was eliminated by Girona on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIESlast_img read more