Jose Mourinho has been sacked as Chelsea's manager after a disastrous start to the Premier League season by club owner Roman Abramovich. The 52-year-old Portuguese had been dismissed by the club for the second time, having been sacked at the end of his previous spell in 2007.
Chelsea released a statement following reports of his sacking started flooding social media. It stated, "All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013. His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history. But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways."
"The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge."
"The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential."
Even though the club has refused to speak on new appointment, Juande Ramos, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Sevilla manager, and Dutchman Guus Hiddink have been cited as potential short-term replacements.
Pep Guardiola, the Bayern Munich coach, and Carlo Ancelotti, who managed Chelsea between 2009 and 2011, are reported to be possible long-term successors.
Mourinho led Chelsea to a Premier League and League Cup double last season, after returning to the club in 2013, but they are currently one point above the relegation zone after nine defeats in 16 games.
In what looks to have been his final Chelsea game, his side were beaten 2-1 at Leicester City on Monday — a club managed by Claudio Ranieri, who he replaced at Stamford Bridge when he first arrived in England in 2004.
Mourinho was scathing in his assessment of his players' display afterwards, saying: "I feel like my work was betrayed."
With Chelsea having swept to the title by eight points last season, their recent collapse has baffled pundits.
As well as floundering in the league, they were knocked out of the League Cup on penalties by Stoke City, although they have reached the Champions League last 16, where they will face Paris Saint-Germain.
Jose's nine lives — the defeats that did for Mourinho
Chelsea are one point of the Premier League relegation zone. Here are the nine league defeats that led to Mourinho's dismissal by Chelsea for a second time:
August 16: Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea
In their second game, the champions are dealt a dispiriting defeat by title rivals City, who put down an early marker courtesy of goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho. City's fans goad Mourinho for sidelining team doctor Eva Carneiro and physiotherapist Jon Fearn after they ran onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City on the season's opening day. Mourinho brands it a "fake result".
August 29: Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Joel Ward's late header condemns Mourinho to only the second defeat of his 100 home league games in charge of Chelsea. Substitute Radamel Falcao cancels out Bakary Sako's opener with his first Chelsea goal in the 79th minute, only for Ward to notch the winner two minutes later. "We didn't deserve to lose," Mourinho says.
September 12: Everton 3-1 Chelsea
Steven Naismith scores a hat-trick — the first to be scored against Mourinho in the Premier League — as Chelsea fall to a third defeat in their opening five games. Nemanja Matic briefly gives Chelsea hope with a fine long-range goal in the 36th minute that makes it 2-1, but Naismith's third goal eight minutes from time seals the visitors' fate. It is Chelsea's worst start to a top-flight season since 1986.
October 3: Chelsea 1-3 Southampton
Willian's free-kick puts Chelsea ahead in the 10th minute, but goals from Steven Davis, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle earn Southampton a deserved win that sees Chelsea slump to 16th place in the table. Aggrieved at seeing Falcao booked for diving, Mourinho accuses referee Robert Madley of being "afraid" to give his team decisions during a seven-minute monologue in a televised post-match interview. The Football Association responds by giving him a £50,000 ($76,560, 69,370 euros) fine and a suspended one-game stadium ban.
October 24: West Ham United 2-1 Chelsea
A turbulent London derby sees West Ham prevail thanks to a 79th-minute header by substitute Andy Carroll. Matic is sent off before half-time for two bookable offences and after assailing referee Jon Moss with expletives during the interval, Mourinho watches the second half from the stands, surrounded by mocking Hammers fans. He is subsequently given a one-match stadium ban by the FA.
October 31: Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool
Liverpool give Mourinho a Halloween nightmare as Philippe Coutinho scores twice and Christian Benteke strikes late on to earn Jurgen Klopp his first league win since succeeding Brendan Rodgers as manager. Mourinho is treated to chants of "You're getting sacked in the morning!" from the visiting fans and gives a peculiar post-match interview with BT Sport in which he repeatedly says: "I have nothing to say."
November 7: Stoke City 1-0 Chelsea
With Mourinho serving his stadium ban and watching from the team hotel, Chelsea are beaten by a 53rd-minute volley from Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic — a player described as "unmanageable" by Mourinho during their time together at Inter Milan. It is the first time Chelsea have lost three consecutive league games since October 1999. But goalkeeper Asmir Begovic says: "We are behind the manager."
December 5: Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth
Chelsea's most embarrassing defeat of the campaign to date comes at the hands of promoted Bournemouth, who prevail courtesy of an 82nd-minute header by substitute Glenn Murray. It is Chelsea's first home defeat against a promoted team since April 2001.
December 14: Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea
Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez condemn Chelsea to a defeat that leaves them a point above the relegation zone. Mourinho complains afterwards that his players have "betrayed" his work. Three days later, Chelsea announce that he has left the club "by mutual consent".
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