Valencia have sacked coach Miroslav Djukic after their erratic form this season left them in danger of missing out on a place in European competition next term.
Former Serbia coach Djukic was hired in June to replace Ernesto Valverde, but Valencia remain mired in ninth in La Liga with just less than half the season played and Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid appears to have been the last straw for the board of los Che.
Sporting director Francisco Joaquin Perez Rufete said the club were seeking a replacement and B team coach Nico Estevez would take charge in the meantime.
Former Yugoslavia centerback Djukic spent six seasons at Valencia as a player and had stints at Deportivo de La Coruna and Tenerife.
As a coach, he helped Real Valladolid win promotion back to the top flight last year and after they finished in 14th place last term, he announced he was moving on.
“As is normal for a professional, I don’t agree with the board’s decision, but I respect it,” Djukic told Monday’s news conference.
Valencia are through to the last 32 of the Europa League, Europe’s second-tier club competition, where they will play Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev.
In La Liga on Monday, Javi Guerra scored three second-half goals in heavy fog at the Estadio Jose Zorilla on Monday to give Valladolid a much-needed 3-0 win over 10-man RC Celta de Vigo.
The striker has 10 goals in 16 rounds, tying him with Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann as the third-leading scorer in the league.
Valladolid’s second home victory of the season and first since August lifted them out of the relegation zone and level with Celta, while sliding UD Almeria into the drop zone with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and Real Betis Balompie.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017