Sevilla sack manager Jose Luis Mendilibar

By Sports Desk October 08, 2023

Sevilla have sacked manager Jose Luis Mendilibar.

The Europa League holders drew 2-2 with Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga on Saturday, leaving them 14th with two wins, two draws and four defeats.

Mendilibar was hired in March but has become the club’s third manager to be dismissed inside 12 months.

The 62-year-old guided Sevilla away from relegation danger with a 12th-placed finish last season and beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma on penalties in May to clinch their seventh Europa League title.

Sevilla’s next match after the international break is a trip to Real Madrid before they host Arsenal in the Champions League.

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    Luka Modric rolled back the years with a stunning late winner for Real Madrid against Sevilla and spoil Sergio Ramos’ return to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    The 38-year-old Modric – a 75th-minute substitute – had been on the pitch six minutes when he superbly controlled Loic Bade’s tired header and curled home from 20 yards to secure a 1-0 win.

    The goal was clouded in controversy, however, as Sevilla felt Antonio Rudiger was offside in the build-up, with replacement referee Carlos Fernandez Buergo adjudging that the German defender was not interfering with play.

    Modric’s former team-mate Ramos must have thought he would be part of a Sevilla clean sheet on his return to the club he represented 671 times and won 22 major honours for between 2005 and 2021.

    Lucas Vazquez saw his 10th-minute effort disallowed for offside on a largely frustrating night for Real.

    But Los Blancos finally found a way through to extend their LaLiga lead over Barcelona to eight points and nine to Girona, who have a game in hand against Rayo Vallecano on Monday.

    England midfielder Jude Bellingham was absent for a third successive Real game because of an ankle sprain, while Dani Carvajal and Eduardo Camavinga missed out through suspension.

    Sevilla should have been ahead inside eight minutes as Isaac Romero crossed and Youssef En-Nesyri smashed wide from 10 yards.

    There was almost instant controversy as Nacho went in to the back of En-Nesyri but play was allowed to continue.

    Vinicius Junior found Vazquez with a delightful pass and the former Spain international fired in off a post.

    Sevilla players were enraged that the game was not stopped for a foul on En-Nesyri and surrounded referee Isidro Diaz de Mera.

    Two minutes elapsed before Diaz de Mera went to the VAR monitor, booking an animated Real manager Carlo Ancelotti on his way, and eventually disallowed the goal.

    Sevilla’s organised 5-3-2 shape – with Ramos at the heart of the defence – caused further frustration as Real struggled to make headway.

    Brahim Diaz dribbled into the visitors’ penalty area for Aurelien Tchouameni to ripple the side-netting with a deflected attempt.

    Fede Valverde forced Sevilla goalkeeper Orjan Nyland to tip over in spectacular fashion and then scuffed against the post just after the break.

    The contest began to open up and Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin denied Romero with an outstanding reaction stop.

    Real asked most of the second-half questions and Rodrygo shot wide after a fantastic run, while Nyland’s agility kept Vinicius at bay.

    There was a refereeing change as Diaz de Mera suffered a calf injury and fourth official Buergo took charge of LaLiga action for the first time.

    But the biggest alteration saw Modric strike an absolute beauty off a post and keep Real in command at the top.

  • Luka Modric scores late winner as Real Madrid maintain LaLiga advantage Luka Modric scores late winner as Real Madrid maintain LaLiga advantage

    Luka Modric scored the only goal of the game as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 1-0 in LaLiga.

    The Croatia international fired home from the edge of the box in the 81st minute to maintain Real’s five-point lead over Barcelona at the summit.

    Sixth-placed Real Betis are now seven points behind fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao in the table after beating the 10-man Lions 3-1.

    Ezequiel Avila’s strike and Yuri Berchiche’s own goal sent Betis ahead before Nico Williams was sent off in the 40th minute.

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    Inter Milan continued their unbeaten start to 2024 with a 4-0 triumph over Lecce in Serie A.

    Lautaro Martinez scored twice alongside goals from Davide Frattesi and Stefan De Vrij for Inter to extend their winning run to 10 games in all competitions.

    They remain nine points ahead of Juventus, who were rescued by Daniele Rugani’s late stoppage-time goal to beat Frosinone 3-2 after initially taking the lead through Dusan Vlahovic’s double.

    A late goal also denied Napoli victory as Zito Luvumbo cancelled out Victor Osimhen’s second-half goal for the reigning Serie A champions in a 1-1 draw with Cagliari.

    Teun Koopmeiners’ penalty kept Atalanta in the race for Serie A’s top four as he cancelled out Rafael Leao’s opener in a 1-1 draw with AC Milan.

    Paris St Germain needed a late penalty from Goncalo Ramos to rescue a point as they drew 1-1 with Rennes in Ligue 1.

    A stunning effort from Amine Gouiri fired the visitors in front and the hosts looked destined for a second league defeat this season before Ramos scored from the spot deep into stoppage time, ensuring PSG sit 11 points clear at the top of the table.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Marseille beat struggling Montpellier 4-1 at the Orange Velodrome.

    The visitors had gone in front five minutes in through Mousa Al-Tamari but Iliman Ndiaye equalised before former Arsenal striker Aubameyang netted either side of the break, with Falaye Sacko’s own goal piling more misery on Montpellier.

    Nice’s goalless draw with bottom-of-the-table Clemont saw Monaco move into third, but they also needed a late goal to beat Lens 3-2.

    They took the lead through Folarin Balogun and Brice Samba’s own goal, but Lens fought back with goals from Elye Wahi and Wesley Said before former Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino found the winner in added time.

    Lille were handed a shock after being beaten 3-1 by Toulouse, while 10-man Reims earned their first win in five league games by beating Le Havre 2-1.

    Maximilian Beier’s quick double helped Hoffenheim move up into seventh in the Bundesliga table after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2.

    Hoffenheim got off to the perfect start when Ihlas Bebou put them ahead just two minutes into the game, but Donyell Malen and Nico Schlotterbeck scored within four minutes of each other to hand Dortmund the lead going into half-time.

    Beier then struck in the 61st and 64th minute to snatch victory for Hoffenheim, who are now four points behind Eintracht Frankfurt after they drew 2-2 with Wolfsburg.

    Philipp Max cancelled out Maxence Lacroix’s opener before Kevin Behrens restored Wolfsburg’s lead, but Omar Marmoush levelled against his former club two minutes into stoppage time.

    Augsburg ended their four-game winless run after second-half goals from Felix Uduokhai and Arne Engels handed them a 2-1 win against SC Freiburg.

  • Former Aston Villa and Northern Ireland defender Chris Nicholl dies at age of 77 Former Aston Villa and Northern Ireland defender Chris Nicholl dies at age of 77

    Former Southampton and Northern Ireland defender Chris Nicholl, who captained Aston Villa to League Cup glory, has died at the age of 77.

    Nicholl, who also managed Southampton before taking charge of Walsall, had been living with dementia, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which he attributed to brain damage caused by repeatedly heading balls over his lengthy career.

    The former central defender’s death was confirmed in a family statement on his daughter Cathy’s Facebook account.

    It said: “It is with a heavy heart that we write this. Chris Nicholl (our dad) sadly passed away peacefully on Saturday evening in hospital.

    “He fought a very long battle with CTE, caused by his dedication to football. Words can’t describe how much we’ll miss him.”

    Wilmslow-born Nicholl, who was capped 51 times by Northern Ireland and represented them at the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain, began his career at Burnley, but made more than 200 appearances for both Villa and the Saints.

    A dependable defender, he famously scored with a 40-yard piledriver as Villa lifted the 1977 League Cup with a 3-2 second replay victory over Everton which went to extra time at Old Trafford.

    In a series of posts on the club’s official X – formerly Twitter – account, Villa said: “Aston Villa is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Chris Nicholl, who has died at the age of 77.

    “The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Chris’ family and friends at this difficult time.

    “A two-time promotion and League Cup winner, Chris Nicholl’s achievements in claret and blue will never be forgotten.

    “He was a dominant figure at the heart of the Aston Villa defence for over five seasons, making 252 appearances and scoring 20 goals.

    “Rest in peace, Chris.”

    After hanging up his boots, Nicholl moved into management at the Dell when he was appointed as Lawrie McMenemy’s replacement during the summer of 1985, and it was he who promoted the emerging talents of Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier and Rod Wallace to the Southampton first team.

    Shearer said on X: “RIP Chris Nicholl. You believed in me and gave me my chance. Thank you.”

    Le Tissier added: “The thoughts and prayers of my family go out to the family of my first manager Chris Nicholl, who has sadly passed away.

    “I’ll always be eternally grateful to Chris for having the faith in me as a 17 year old boy to give me my opportunity to prove I was good enough to be a professional footballer. Gone, but never forgotten #RIPChris.”

    Nicholl parted company with the Saints in May 1991 and spent three years out of the game before taking the hotseat at Walsall.

    The Saddlers said on X: “We are devastated to learn that former manager Chris Nicholl has passed away.

    “Chris led the Saddlers from 1994 to 1997 and won promotion to Division Two in what was a memorable 1994-95 campaign.

    “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

    Nicholl was reunited with McMenemy during his spell in charge of Northern Ireland, serving as his assistant manager.

    A statement on the Irish FA’s X account said: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Nicholl. He played 51 times for us, including the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

    “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time”

    In 2017, Nicholl told Shearer as part of a BBC documentary of his fears over the damage he had suffered during his playing career.

    He said: “I am brain-damaged from heading footballs. My memory is in trouble.

    “Everyone forgets regular things, where your keys are. But when you forget where you live, that’s different.

    “I’ve had that for the last four or five years, it is definitely getting worse. It bothers me.”

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