Luciano Spalletti sacked by Zenit St Petersburg a week before crucial Champions League last-16 second leg with Borussia Dortmund
Spalletti paid the price for the club's 0-0 draw with Tom Tomsk which saw Zenit slip to second in the Russian Premier League
Tuesday 11 March 2014
Luciano Spalletti has been sacked as head coach of Zenit St Petersburg just a week before the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with Borussia Dortmund, the Russian club said on Tuesday.
The 55 year-old Italian was dismissed after the club's disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Tom Tomsk on Sunday allowed Lokomotiv Moscow to replace them at the top of the Russian Premier League.
Former Russia captain Sergei Semak 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.
Former AS Roman and Udinese boss Spalletti took charge in December 2009 and led the side from Russia's second city to two Premier League titles and one Russian Cup during his tenure and was named Russian coach of the season in 2010 and 2012 season.
However, the club's hierarchy decided to change their manager, whose contract ran until 2015, with 10 league matches remaining.
Zenit saw their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history all but disappear following a 4-2 first leg home loss to Dortmund last month. The return leg in Germany takes place on March 19.
Semak has been handed his first head coach position and the 38 year-old's first game in temporary charge will be against CSKA Moscow on Saturday before they fly to Germany.
Semak 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.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao latest: Manchester City bookies favourite but Arsenal also interested as Monaco put £20m loan fee on Colombian striker
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
Tim Sherwood column: I've been impressed with my Tottenham successor Mauricio Pochettino
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward