Sevilla have dismissed coach Jorge Sampaoli following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Getafe which left them just two points clear of the bottom three in LaLiga with 12 games to play.
The decision comes just two weeks after they were beaten 6-1 by Atletico Madrid and with a two-week window until their next league game, away at fellow strugglers Cadiz.
Sampaoli, 63, is the second manager Sevilla have fired this season. He only replaced Julen Lopetegui in October, who was sacked following a disappointing start to the campaign.
“We have taken the decision to terminate Sampaoli’s contract following the loss to Getafe which leaves us on the brink of the relegation zone,” Sevilla said in a statement.
“The fact that the team has not managed to move clear of bottom of the table since he took over as coach, in addition to the team’s performances in the last few games, have led to this decision.”
Sevilla said work to find a replacement is already underway and they hope to have someone in place by the end of Tuesday.
Following the announcement, Sampaoli posted a message on his social media account: “I leave with my head held high because of the attitude [shown] at all times, because we are in the quarterfinals of the Europa League and because we put a lot of effort into taking this story forward.
“Football doesn’t always give back the insomnia we dedicate to it. But I have no doubt that it was worth offering and putting my heart into this shield.”
Sampaoli returned for a second spell as Sevilla coach in October having previously led them to a fourth-place finish in 2017-18 before leaving to take the Argentina job.
He has won 13 out of his 31 matches in charge this season, helping Sevilla reach the Europa League quarterfinals, where they will meet Manchester United, but their league form has hardly improved.
Wins over Getafe, Cadiz, Elche and Mallorca at the start of the calendar year had appeared to signal an upturn in fortunes, but they have won just one of their last five league games since, against second-bottom Almeria.
They are 14th in LaLiga but just two points ahead of Valencia and Almeria, who occupy 18th and 19th-place in the standings.
Sevilla have finished in the top four in Spain in each of the last three seasons, qualifying for the Champions League in the process, and have not ended a campaign outside the top 10 since they returned to the top flight in 2001.