AS Roma have fired manager Eusebio Di Francesco following their Champions League exit to FC Porto on Wednesday.
The 49-year-old had a solid debut campaign in charge of Roma last season by leading them to their first Champions League semi-final appearance since 1984 along with sealing a respectable third-place finish in the Serie A.
However, on the back of a poor start to this term, Roma have been playing catch-up all season and currently sit outside of the Champions League qualification spots in fifth-place.
Therefore, Di Francisco’s job has been under immense doubt over the past few months with the Italian refusing to quit even after Roma’s humiliating 7-1 Coppa Italia defeat to Fiorentina in January.
And it appears that Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Porto in Portugal proved to be the final straw for the club hierarchy, despite the unlucky circumstances surrounding the defeat.
The Giallorossi arrived for the return leg with a 2-1 aggregate lead and seemed on course to book a quarter-final spot when captain Daniele De Rossi scored a penalty to cancel out Francisco Soares’ early opener.
But Moussa Marega put the tie into extra-time for Porto by slotting home Jesus Corona’s cross before a VAR review deemed that Alessandro Florenzi fouled Fernando in the area and awarded the hosts a penalty, which Alex Tellas put away in the 116th-minute to seal Porto a 4-3 aggregate win.
Therefore, Roma now have no chance of winning any silverware and decided today to dismiss former player Di Francisco as coach.
“On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I’d like to thank Eusebio for his work and his commitment,” president Jim Pallotta told the club website.
“Since returning to the club, Eusebio has always acted professionally and put the club’s needs ahead of his own. We all wish him well for the future.”
In total, Di Francesco won 46 and lost 23 of his 87 matches in charge of Roma, who will next face Empoli on Monday in a Serie A match.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri had been linked with the role at the Stadio Olimpico, but publicly denied the rumours as “impossible” last month.