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Soccer: Milan sack Allegri after humbling loss

Coach fired following embarrassing 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo

13 January, 16:29
Soccer: Milan sack Allegri after humbling loss (By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) - Milan, January 13 - AC Milan have sacked coach Massimiliano Allegri following Sunday's embarrassing 4-3 defeat at promoted Sassuolo. The seven-time European champions, who are 30 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus in 11th place, have put assistant coach Mauro Tassotti in charge temporarily. "AC Milan wish to communicate that Massimiliano Allegri and his staff have been relieved of their duties with immediate effect," read a statement on the club's website.

"AC Milan would like to thank Mr. Allegri and his staff for their time with the club and wishes them the best for the future".

Allegri had already announced he would leave Milan at the end of this season.

But his departure was accelerated after Milan blew a two-goal advantage at Sassuolo, with 19-year-old forward Domenico Berardi becoming the first player to score four goals against them in a Serie A match.

After the game, Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of owner Silvio Berlusconi and one of the club's two chief executives, suggested that Allegri's stint was drawing to a close.

"It was a disappointing evening, like others have been, and it confirms that it is necessary and urgent to change," Barbara Berlusconi told ANSA.

"It is no longer tolerable that our fans attend unacceptable performances like this".

Former Cagliari boss Allegri took charge of Milan in 2010 and led them to their first Serie A title in seven years in his first campaign.

They finished second in Serie A the following season.

The 46-year-old's job has regularly been on the line as he struggled to adapt after Milan sold their two best players, Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazil defender Thiago Silva, and offloaded several quality veterans in the 2012 close season.

With the club focused on keeping a tighter rein on spending and focusing more on young players, Allegri failed to reproduce the exciting attacking soccer with which he made his name at Cagliari and ex-premier Berlusconi grumbled several times about the qualify of the performances. Milan recovered from a poor start to finish third last season and qualify for the Champions League.

But they look unlikely to finish in the zone to qualify for Europe's premier club competition this time, as they trail third-placed Napoli by 20 points at the campaign's half-way mark.

The only positive note for Allegri this season came from Europe.

Milan are the only one of Serie A's three representatives to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League and face Spanish side Atletico Madrid in the last 16. Two of the veterans who stopped playing for Milan in 2012, Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf and former Italy forward Filippo Inzaghi, are the favourites to become Allegri's permanent replacement.

Seedorf, 37, is currently playing for Brazilian side Botafogo. Inzaghi is currently in charge of one of Milan's youth teams.

Unlike most Serie A teams, Milan rarely sack their coaches.

The last Milan coach to be fired was Turk Fatih Terim in 2001.