Genoa fire manager Alberto Malesani following ugly fan protest


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The Independent Football

Genoa have fired Alberto Malesani following a protest-filled 4-1 loss to Siena and hired Luigi De Canio for the final five matches of Serie A, marking the record 18th coaching change in the Italian league this season.

It's the second time Genoa has sacked Malesani this campaign.

While Genoa have not made an official announcement, club president Enrico Preziosi confirmed the move to RAI state radio this morning.

Sunday's match with Siena was suspended for about 45 minutes early in the second half, when Genoa fans threw flares onto the pitch and climbed atop barriers as they were faced by stewards in riot gear.

With their side trailing 4-0, players even removed their shirts in front of the hard-core "ultra" fans to acknowledge they weren't worthy of wearing them.

Genoa have the worst defense in the league and are one point above the relegation zone with a match at AC Milan on Wednesday.

The previous record for coaching changes in Serie A was 15 in 1951-52.

Ten clubs have changed managers at least once, with Cagliari leading the way with three firings.

Malesani was first fired in December after a 6-1 thrashing by Napoli, but Genoa were equal on points with the ninth-place team at the time. Malesani was rehired earlier this month after Pasquale Marino was sacked.

De Canio briefly coached Genoa in Serie B in 2004. He has also managed Udinese, Siena, Queens Park Rangers and Lecce.