Lopetegui leaves Sevilla following heavy loss to Bellingham-inspired Dortmund

By Sports Desk October 05, 2022

Sevilla have fired head coach Julen Lopetegui, with a comprehensive 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League proving to be his final game in charge.

Lopetegui led Sevilla to just one win in their first seven games of the season in LaLiga, and widespread reports had suggested he would be relieved of his duties after Wednesday's match.

The former Spain and Real Madrid coach's final game with Sevilla proved to be an unhappy one, as goals from Raphael Guerreiro, Jude Bellingham, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt saw Dortmund dominate.

Speaking to Movistar after the defeat, Lopetegui revealed: "Right now I'm still coach of Sevilla but... I've already said goodbye to the team.

"I don't get a negative feeling right now. The first thing I feel is gratitude to a club like Sevilla, the fans, the people of the city and my players, who have given me three wonderful seasons. 

"I arrived with doubts and it was possible to turn it around with many successful seasons."

A statement released by Sevilla less than 30 minutes after full-time then formally confirmed his departure, saying.

"Sevilla have dismissed Julen Lopetegui as coach of the first team after the clash [with] Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday," the statement read.

"Lopetegui closes a successful stage with three magnificent campaigns in which the objectives were more than achieved, and a fourth season in which the results have not been on track, with Sevilla [taking] five points out of a possible 21 in LaLiga."

Jorge Sampaoli – who coached Sevilla in the 2016-17 season – is reportedly being targeted to replace him, while Lopetegui has been linked with the vacant position at Wolves.

Dortmund's rampant performance owed much to the display of Bellingham, who became the first English teenager to start a Champions League match as captain.

Bellingham marked the occasion with a fine solo goal, becoming just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

The only other player to achieve that feat is Bellingham's former BVB team-mate Erling Haaland, who did so with Salzburg in the 2019-20 season.

Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

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