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Roma sack manager Di Francesco following Champions League exit

10:46 PM IST 07/03/19
Eusebio Di Francesco Roma 2018-19
The Giallorossi have parted ways with their head coach after a disappointing European exit against Porto

Roma have sacked manager Eusebio Di Francesco, the Serie A outfit have announced.

The Giallorossi have had a disappointing season domestically, sitting outside the top four places in Italy and were dumped out of the Champions League by Porto in the round of 16.

A 2-1 win in Rome was undone as the Portuguese outfit matched that result in 90 minutes to take the game to extra-time before Alex Telles scored a penalty that sent them through and avoided the lottery of a shootout. 

Di Francesco's position was already under scrutiny beforehand, but the club's early European exit - having reached the semi-finals last season - appears to have been the final straw.

The club's hierarchy have apparently already drawn up a shortlist to succeed him, with Claudio Ranieri among the favourites for the role on a temporary basis until the end of the season. 

Laurent Blanc and Paulo Sousa are also in the frame alongside the former Fulham and Leicester City manager, although the latter has been strongly linked with a move to Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux.

Di Francesco spent four years with Roma as a player, winning the Scudetto in 2001, before returning as a manager in 2017.

He finished third in Serie A before reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League despite being drawn in a difficult group with Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, masterminding a sensational comeback against Barcelona in the quarter-finals along the way, coming back to win on away goals after a 4-1 defeat in Spain.

However, he was unable to repeat the feat against Liverpool and reach the final, eventually losing 7-6 on aggregate. 

This season has gone far less smoothly, with Roma winning just one of their first six games in all competitions, and having suffered an embarrassing 7-1 defeat to Fiorentina in the quarter-final of the Coppa Italia, as well as losing 3-0 in their most recent derby against Lazio

The Giallorossi next face Empoli on Monday as they focus their attentions on attaining a top-four finish in Serie A, currently sitting fifth and three points of fourth-placed Inter, although Lazio, Torino and Atalanta are just three points further back.