Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti parted company with Bayern Munich on Thursday, a day after a 3-0 Champions League defeat at Paris Saint-Germain, the Bundesliga record winners said.
Bayern said that Frenchman Willy Sagnol, a former Bayern defender and part of their coaching staff since summer, would act as caretaker, in the next game, a league match at Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Bayern took action following Wednesday’s record group stage defeat concluded a poor start to the campaign which included dissent towards Ancelotti from star players Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller.
They are currently third in the Bundesliga, three points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund.
“The performances of the team did not meet our expectations from the start of the season onwards. The game in Paris showed clearly that we had to take consequences,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.
“I thank Carlo for the cooperation and regret the development. Carlo is and will remain a friend of mine but we had to take a professional decision for FC Bayern.
“I now expect a positive development from the team and absolute determination so that we can meet our goals for the season.
The 58-year-old was appointed Bayern coach in July 2016 but despite leading the team to the Bundesliga title could only reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 Champions League.
Rummenigge had called for “consequences” at the traditional banquet after the Paris game. Club bosses met after the return to Munich Thursday amid instant media speculation that Ancelotti was on his way out.
Ancelotti raised eyebrows Wednesday by benching several key players such as Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mats Hummels in Paris.
“I think it was a very bitter loss that needs to be talked about, analysed and there have to be clear consequences,” Rummenigge said at the banquet.
“I think what we saw tonight was not Bayern Munich. It is important that we get back on track after this game and present ourselves as Bayern Munich.”
“Then we need to show that we are a team that has turned heads in Europe and nationally in the last few years. We need to get back to that level.”
The captain Mueller was not drawn on direct criticism of Ancelotti after the game.
“The coach makes the decisions and explains his plans. The team just tries to execute them as best as they can,” Mueller said.
But Mueller had earlier in the season complained about not enough playing time, and Ribery had thrown his shirt away in disgust about being substituted during the Champions League opener against Anderlecht – signs that not everything was in order in the dressing room.
Bayern have been mainly unconvincing all season which was the second in Ancelotti’s original three-year contract until 2019, and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on its website Thursday that “a team with the status of being unbeatable before he took the job is now crumbling under Ancelotti’s hands.”
Ancelotti had defended his line-up after the Paris game, insisting: “I’m someone who thinks a lot about the line-up. I don’t regret anything.
“It’s true that in Robben, Ribery and Hummels a lot of good players were on the bench. But I always have good players on the bench. That’s how it is in top clubs. Good players have to sit on the bench, that’s my job.”
The former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG coach took over from Pep Guardiola in 2016 amid Munich hopes to win the Champions League again for the first time since 2013.
But they were eliminated by eventual winners Real in extra-time of a thrilling quarter-final and their hopes of a domestic double were ended in the German Cup semi-finals by Dortmund.
Before Ancelotti’s end, Robben had urged the five-time reigning champions to rebound against Hertha.
“We have to react, we have to win – it’s as simple as that,” winger Arjen Robben said. “That is the last game before the international break and we are already three points behind Dortmund.”(dpa/NAN)