Allardyce tipped to take over as West Brom dismiss Di Matteo

Manchester City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0: 'Poor sequence of results' sees Italian manager out of a job following 3-0 defeat at Manchester City

A thirteenth defeat in 18 matches in all competitions cost Roberto Di Matteo his job as head coach of West Bromwich Albion yesterday. Sam Allardyce was swiftly installed as favourite to take over, while there was backing for caretaker manager Michael Appleton, with Roy Hodgson, Martin Jol, Chris Hughton, Doncaster's Sean O'Driscoll and St Johnstone's Derek McInnes also in the frame.

Albion chairman Jeremy Peace said it was a "tough decision" to part company with Di Matteo, but one the board had taken to give the club "the best possible chance of remaining in the Premier League". He added: "Our poor sequence of results stretches back more than three months and there has been little sign of it coming to an end. We now begin the search to find a new head coach who will fit into our existing set-up and work under our sporting and technical director, Dan Ashworth."

Peace thanked Di Matteo, the former Chelsea midfielder and MK Dons manager, and his departing assistants, Eddie Newton and Ade Mafe, for their achievements over the past 19 months, particularly promotion from the Championship last season. "Roberto embraced the structure in which we wanted him to work and has been a good colleague," he said. "However, we are in a results-driven industry and felt we had no choice but to act now."

Former Blackburn manager Allardyce, who comes from nearby Dudley and made one substitute's appearance for Albion near the end of his playing career, might appeal as a the kind of no-nonsense character who could prevent Albion suffering a fourth relegation in nine seasons. But his reputation is for a more direct brand of football than The Hawthorns crowd favours. Jol and McInnes both played for Albion, as did Appleton before injury forced him to move into coaching.

Whoever succeeds Di Matteo must arrest a slide which has seen a bright start turn into another struggle for survival. After losing 6-0 at Chelsea on the opening day, Albion were beaten only once in the next eight fixtures, which included a 3-2 victory at Arsenal and 2-2 draw at Manchester United. Since then they have won just three times. The next four fixtures have a make-or-break look: home to fellow stragglers West Ham and Wolves, away to bogey-team Stoke and a derby at Birmingham.

There was much to admire in the way they kept going forward at Eastlands. Unfortunately for Di Matteo's employment prospects, Carlos Tevez's hat-trick ensured the contest was effectively over before half-time. Like Appleton, a lifelong Manchester United fan from Salford who made two appearances in the Old Trafford first-team, David Platt and Brian Kidd cut their football teeth on the red side of the great divide. Yet like Tevez, Roberto Mancini's aides will return to United on Saturday trying everything they know to gain the win City need to take advantage of United's woes at Wolves.

Platt insisted it was a measure of City's progress that they will be playing for more than local pride. "It's a compliment to us that all of a sudden it becomes about the three points, rather than City thinking, 'Oh, at least we can get some solace by winning the derby'," said Mancini's first-team coach.

Could City still win their first title since 1968? The former England captain, while asserting that it was "United's to lose", pointed to Mancini's singular approach. "What Robbie does is he wears you down and convinces you; he has this great belief we can win every game. He doesn't think, 'There's a dozen matches left and we need X number of points'. He thinks. 'If there's 12 left, there's 36 points'. That's what you go for."

Kidd's experience of Mancunian hostilities, having played for both clubs and worked as No 2 to Sir Alex Ferguson and now Mancini, is that form "goes out of the window". That would be bad news for City given the teams' respective weekend performances, though you knew what he meant.

Where there is Tevez, there is always hope. "Carlos is a fantastic player who inspires everybody," added Kidd. "He's a street footballer, like Wayne Rooney, who plays with no fear and never gives defenders a moment."

The Argentine scored a world-class goal either side of two penalties gifted by panicked opponents. Joe Hart's clean sheet – the only one during Saturday's Premier League goal-fest – pleased City's hierarchy as much as Tevez's rampage. "Over the past few weeks we've been conceding goals," said Platt. "That's stopped us from amassing points and going through the FA Cup rounds at the first hurdle."

Scorer: Man City Tevez pen 17, 22, pen 39.

Subs: Man City Dzeko (Y Touré, 63), Wright-Phillips (Tevez, 86), Razak (Silva, 90). Unused Given (gk), Lescott, Vieira, Jo. West Brom Vela (Thomas, 46), Jara (Brunt, 69), Tchoyi (Odemwingie, 87). Unused Carson (gk), Pablo, Tamas, Cox.

Booked: Man City Zabaleta West Brom Morrison, Reid.

Man of the match Tevez Match rating 7/10.

Possession Man City 51% West Brom 49%.

Attempts on target Man City 9 West Brom 9.

Referee M Atkinson (Yorkshire) Att 46,846.

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all