MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid sacked coach Julen Lopetegui three months into his first season in charge after the Spanish giants were beaten by arch rivals Barcelona over the weekend, the European champions said on Monday.Real have failed to win in La Liga since beating Espanyol on Sept. 22, losing to Sevilla, Alaves, Levante and drawing with Atletico Madrid before Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing by Barcelona.Former player and reserve team boss Santiago Solari has been put in caretaker charge after negotiations between the club and former Chelsea, Italy and Juventus boss Antonio Conte broke down on Monday, the club added. “The Real Madrid board met today and decided to renounce coach Julen Lopetegui’s contract with the club,” the club said in a statement. “The board feels there has been a disproportionate difference between the squad Real Madrid possesses… and the results obtained until now.”Lopetegui has now lost two jobs in under five months as he was also fired by the Spanish Football Federation as coach of the national team the day before the World Cup started in June for announcing his move to Real behind the organisation’s back, throwing Spain’s tournament preparations into chaos. The 52-year-old replaced Zinedine Zidane as Real coach after the Frenchman decided to step down from the role having guided the club to three successive Champions League titles in May.After the club’s all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo also departed for Juventus in July, Lopetegui’s stint at Real got off to a difficult start as they were beaten 4-2 by city rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup. His side then won four of their opening five La Liga games and a 3-0 win over AS Roma in their Champions League opener.But things started to fall apart when they were thrashed 3-0 by Sevilla last month, a result that started a run of four defeats in five matches in all competitions. During that stint, they also failed to score a goal for eight hours.Last Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League provided a brief respite but the team were still booed off the pitch after an unconvincing display. unday’s 5-1 hammering proved to be the final straw for Real president Florentino Perez.During his 10 La Liga games in charge, Lopetegui won four, drew two and lost four, leaving Real floundering in ninth place in the table.Spanish Federation rules allow clubs 14 days to name a permanent successor, meaning that Argentine Solari, who played for Real between 2000 and 2005, could potentially be in charge of four first team games.
Gabi 6: The Madrid tide continued and the captain couldn’t do much to stop it. 22/04/2015 Jesus Gamez 6: Found things harder against Ronaldo than Juanfran and Miranda 7: Did a decent job repelling Real Madrid’s attacks, although was all at sea, like his colleagues, for the eventual winner. Rik Sharma Saul 5: The youngster couldn’t add to the game much, with Atletico under the Madrid cosh before he was taken off at half-time. SUBS Jan Oblak 9: Was their hero in the first leg and made a brilliant save from Cristiano Ronaldo as Atletico lived dangerously. Another sublime stop from Javier Hernandez followed, before he was finally beaten by the Mexican. Raul Garcia 6: Booked for running his studs down Varane’s leg with a bit of a needless challenge. Offered more presence than any of the other Atletico forwards though. Diego Godin 7: Lucky not to concede a penalty for dragging down Javier Hernandez in the box. Upd. at 23:06 Mario Mandzukic 5: In the first leg he was able to hold the ball up and trouble Madrid’s defence, but rarely accomplished the same here. Jose Gimenez N/A Antoine Griezmann 5: Has been fantastic this season but sadly couldn’t show it here. Taken off midway through the second half. CEST Arda Turan 6: Booked for a cynical trip on Toni Kroos. Worked hard and should have set up the opening goal, but for a poor header from Koke. Sent off, somewhat harshly, for a high tackle which clipped Ramos. Juanfran 7: The full-back did a decent job against Cristiano Ronaldo, so much so that the Real Madrid man switched flanks and tried to attack from the right. Tiago 6: Worked extremely hard and Simeone appreciated the veteran midfielder’s efforts to keep his side afloat. Koke 5: A great chance in the second half, but couldn’t get any power in his header and it was an easy catch for Casillas.
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