Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal manager yesterday after less than two years in charge and with the club without a win in seven games, their worst run since 1992.
The 48-year-old Spaniard was fired following the 2-1 home defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday.
His assistant Freddie Ljungberg is to take over as interim manager during the search for a permanent replacement.
Arsenal fans had demanded “decisive action” from directors with the club’s present run of five draws and two defeats this season just one match off equaling George Graham’s run of eight without a win in 1992.
Club directors responded by axing the man brought in 18 months ago to revive a club stagnating after two decades under Frenchman Arsene Wenger.
“We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team,” the club said in a statement.
“We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach.
“The search for a new head coach is under way and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete,” it said.
Among those in the mix for the permanent job include former Gunners star Mikel Arteta, Pep Guardiola’s assistant at champions Manchester City, ex-Juventus handler Massimiliano Allegri and Wolverhampton Wanderers Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
On Thursday, Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada scored a second-half double for Eintracht after captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had opened the scoring in first half injury time for Arsenal inside a half-full Emirates Stadium.
Boos from the lowest attendance at the ground since it opened in 2006 greeted Emery and his misfiring team at the final whistle while some disgruntled fans held up banners demanding “Emery out.”
The Gunners are still on course for a last-32 place if they draw with Standard Liege on Dec. 12.
Scottish champions Celtic clinched top spot in Group E with a 3-1 win over Stade Rennais while Wolves reached the knockout stages with a 3-3 draw against fellow qualifiers Braga in Group K.
Rangers drew 2-2 against Feyenoord to hold top spot in Group G with a one-point lead ahead of their last game against Young Boys.
Earlier, AS Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini was hit by coins as the Italian club kept their last-32 hopes alive with a 3-0 victory against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Attacking midfielder Pellegrini had his head bandaged after he was struck by multiple coins with an hour of the game played after Jordan Veretout, Justin Kluivert and Edin Dzeko had claimed the advantage for the Serie A outfit in Turkey. The visitors remained in contention for a knock-out spot and sit behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach, who beat Wolfsberger AC 1-0, on goal difference with the Turkish side a point behind on seven.
In other games on Thursday, it was:
‧ Astana 2, Manchester United 1
‧ Krasnodar 1, Basel 1893 0
‧ Trabzonspor 0, Getafe 1
‧ Besiktas 2, Slovan Bratislava 1
‧ AZ Alkmaar 2, Partizan 2
‧ Young Boys 1, Porto 2
‧ CSKA Moscow 1, Ludogorets 1
‧ Ferencvaros 2, Espanyol 2
‧ Saint-Etienne 0, Gent 0
‧ Oleksandriya 0, Wolfsburg 1
‧ Sevilla 2, Qarabag FK 0
‧ F91 Dudelange 0, Nicosia 2
‧ Malmo 4, Dynamo Kiev 3
‧ Lugano 0, Copenhagen 1
‧ Sporting CP 4, Eindhoven 0
‧ Rosenborg 1, LASK 2
‧ SS Lazio 1, CFR 1907 Cluj 0
‧ Guimaraes 1, Standard Liege 1
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