Slaven Bilic sacked by Al-Ittihad after just 15 matches

Updated 25 February 2019
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Slaven Bilic sacked by Al-Ittihad after just 15 matches

  • Former West Ham Croatia boss fired after only 15 matches in charge with Jeddah club in relegation zone.
  • Former boss Luis Sierra given task of saving side from relegation.

LONDON: Al-Ittihad have sacked Slaven Bilic after just five months in charge after the former West Ham United boss was unable to left the Saudi giants out of the Pro League relegation zone.
The Croatian was brought in to steer the Jeddah club to safety after they sacked Ramon Diaz just weeks into the new season. Bilic, however, was unable to have the desired impact on The Tigers as he won just three of the 15 matches he was in charge of.
The 50-year-old was dished out with his marching orders after the side’s 2-0 home defeat to arch-rivals Al-Hilal.
Former boss Luis Sierra has already been confirmed as Al-Ittihad’s new manager. the Chilean faces a huge task of trying to avoid the drop with just nine games left until the end of the season and Al-Ittihad second from bottom.
Al-Ittihad — who have eight Saudi Pro League titles to their name — released a statement thanking Bilic for his time at the helm.
“After reviewing the modest results of Ittihad Club in the past period, which did not rise to expectations despite the efforts exerted by the board to provide the coaching staff with everything they needed to put Ittihad back on the right track,” the statement read.
“The Board has decided to terminate the contract of Croatian coach Slaven Bilic and the assistant coaching staff.
“The Board thanks them for everything they did.”
That the Jeddah giants are in the relegation zone comes as a shock. They spent a lot of money before the season in a bid to challenge defending champions Al-Hilal. Sierra is the club’s fourth coach in less than a year.


Celtic win Scottish Cup to complete ‘treble treble’

Updated 1 min 18 sec ago
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Celtic win Scottish Cup to complete ‘treble treble’

  • Club appoint Neil Lennon as manager on a permanent basis

GLASGOW, Scotland: Celtic claimed an unprecedented third consecutive domestic treble after coming from behind to win the Scottish Cup by beating Hearts 2-1 thanks to Odsonne Edouard’s double at Hampden on Saturday.

The Hoops were on course for a first domestic cup defeat in 27 games when Ryan Edwards shot Hearts into a shock lead seven minutes into the second half.

However, Celtic quickly responded when Edouard leveled from the penalty spot and the Frenchman sealed another clean sweep of silverware by racing clear to score the winner eight minutes from time.

Neil Lennon was offered the Celtic manager's job on a permanent basis.

Despite consolidating an eight-point lead when Brendan Rodgers left the Scottish champions to take charge of Leicester in February to win an eighth straight Scottish Premiership, and now the Scottish Cup, Lennon had faced criticism for his side’s performances and style of play.

Celtic were again disjointed for long spells and could easily have been beaten but for a bit more quality and composure from a Hearts side missing a host of key players through injury. Edouard had the only decent chance of a poor first 45 minutes when he was played in by Tom Rogic, but John Souttar slid in to make a brave block.

Hearts had not won in five games since their semifinal victory over second-tier Inverness, but they made the breakthrough with their first big chance of the game.

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Hickey fed Arnaud Djoum on the edge of the area, his miscued shot found its way to Sean Clare who backheeled to find the free Edwards to slot home.

Celtic seemed to need the shock of going behind to snap into action and leveled within 10 minutes.

Edouard was tripped by Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, although contact was minimal and referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot.

Zlamal could have made amends, but did not get a strong enough hand to Edouard’s penalty to keep it out.

Celtic paid a club record £9 million ($11 million) for Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain 11 months ago and he took his tally for the season to 23 when Mikael Lustig’s forward header somehow evaded the whole Hearts defense.

Edouard kept his cool to slot past the advancing Zlamal and seal Celtic’s sixth domestic treble.

 

Tuchel extends deal to 2021

Also on Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has extended his deal with the French Ligue 1 champions through to June 2021, the club announced.

The 45-year-old German took over in June 2018 and despite winning Ligue 1 has come under scrutiny after the Parisian club’s defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League last 16.

The news cuts short speculation that PSG’s owners would fire Tuchel and hire outgoing Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I’m delighted to extend my contract and commitment to Paris Saint-Germain,” Tuchel said.

“I’d like to thank the chairman and the whole club for their trust in me and my staff. This only reinforces my ambition to bring this team to the very top through hard work,” he told the club website

“I’m also very touched by the backing of our supporters, and I’m sure that the best is yet to come for our club.”