Liverpool sack Rodgers after draw with Everton
Brendan Rodgers' departure was fast becoming a question of when and the end was delivered following a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon with city rivals Everton which leaves Liverpool in 10th place. Dick Advocaat walked away from Sunderland with the Wearsiders second from bottom.
In a day of spectacular action on and off the field, two premier league club jobs became available and leaders Manchester United were crushed at Arsenal.
Advocaat was the first coach to go. He signalled his intention to walk away from Sunderland on Saturday night following their 2-2 draw at home to West Ham. The 68-year-old Dutchman confirmed his departure on Sunday afternoon.
He was appointed in March, when Sunderland were one point above the relegation zone but he steered them to safety and was due to leave the club in the summer, only to sign a new one-year contract.
Advocaat said on Sunday: "I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time to turn things around."
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said: "I am truly saddened by Dick's decision, but I respect him for his honesty."
The new manager will find a team second from bottom with three points after eight games.
Sunderland were close to securing their first win of the campaign on Saturday afternoon at the Stadium of Light. Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens gave them a two goal cushion at the pause. But after the break Carl Jenkinson and Dimitri Payet scored for the visitors.
While Advocaat’s exit was expected, Rodgers' sacking overshadowed the savaging Arsenal dished out to Manchester United at the Emirates.
The Gunners were three up within 20 minutes. Alexis Sanchez opened after six minutes with a cheeky back heel past David de Gea. Mesut Ozil coolly slotted past the keeper a minute later and Sanchez flashed in the third from the edge of box.
The result takes Arsenal to second on 16 points, two points behind Manchester City. United drop to third.
If the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger thought the headlines would be his for his side’s clinical deconstruction of United, he was mistaken. Barely half an hour after the final whistle at the Emirates Stadium in north London, Liverpool's owners announced the sacking of 49-year-old Rodgers.
Earlier on Sunday, his side had drawn 1-1 at Everton. .
Summer signing Danny Ings celebrated his call-up to the England squad with the opener for Liverpool. But on the stroke of half-time the Belgium international Romelu Lukaku levelled.
A joint statement issued by principal owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner said: “We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment. All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.
“Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch. Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it. The search for a new manager is underway and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.”
Rodgers has been under constant pressure since the end of last season when Liverpool suffered their heaviest defeat in more than 50 years 6-1 at Stoke City. That loss came at the end of a season in which they slumped in the Uefa Champions League and qualified for the Europa League.
Rodgers, who was part of a transfer committee, spent 108 million euros on seven new first team players last summer, bringing the total invested in players since he arrived from Swansea City in 2012 to almost 400 million euros.
During that time, Liverpool have not claimed a major trophy. They lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea in 2012 and were surprisingly beaten by a struggling Aston Villa side in the semi-final of the competition last season.
Sunday was a sorry and rather tawdry nadir. Rodgers injected dash and panache into an Anfield outfit that glittered brightly throughout 2013-14 campaign. Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge cut a swath through defences as the side almost claimed its first title since 1990.
They missed out to Manchester City and once Suarez left for Barcelona, the chemistry had gone. Sturridge was plagued by injuries and Sterling had his head turned by Manchester City and left just before the start of the 2015-16 season.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is being touted as the natural choice to succeed Rodgers. The 48-year-old German is taking a sabbatical from football after seven years at Dortmund in which he led the side to two Bundesliga crowns as well as the German Cup and also to the final of the Uefa Champions League.
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