Domenico Tedesco has been sacked by Schalke in the wake of the 7-0 Champions League humbling by Manchester City.
The Italy-born coach guided Schalke to the Bundesliga’s runners-up spot behind Bayern Munich last season, but the Gelsenkirchen club are currently down in 14th place following three-straight losses.
The final straw appears to have been Tuesday night’s embarrassing display in Manchester, where Pep Guardiola’s City put seven unanswered goals past Schalke to complete a 10-2 aggregate last-16 victory.
Ahead of Saturday’s league meeting with RB Leipzig at Veltins-Arena, former Royal Blues boss Huub Stevens has taken interim control of the first team and will be assisted by Mike Buskens.
“This decision was anything but easy, as we really appreciate Domenico Tedesco at Schalke. He developed the side very well last season that ended with us finishing runners-up,” said the club’s recently-appointed director of sport, Jochen Schneider, on schalke04.de.
“However, we can’t fail to recognise that the development this season has been negative. When I took the job, I demanded a turnaround due to the current situation in the Bundesliga.
“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that this wouldn’t be possible with the current staff.
“Domenico Tedesco deserves our thanks for the work he did over the past two years. He has always conducted himself commendably and fully identified with the club and its values.”
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Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga for the first time since September after a crushing 6-0 win over Wolfsburg.
Their goal spree was enough to move top on goal difference above former leaders Borussia Dortmund, who beat Stuttgart 3-1.
And it was an emphatic statement of intent from Niko Kovac’s men ahead of the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Liverpool on Wednesday.
Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski set the reigning champions on their way in the first half before James Rodriguez fired a third from the edge of the box in the 52nd minute.
Further goals from Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and a second from Lewandowski sealed the commanding victory.
In contrast Dortmund struggled to shrug off their Champions League exit to Tottenham as they needed two late goals to see off Stuttgart.
Marco Reus put the home side in front from the penalty spot but Dortmund’s lead was cancelled out by Marc-Oliver Kempf’s 71st-minute equaliser.
Paco Alcacer rescued Dortmund by firing them back in front in the 84th minute and Christian Pulisic made sure of the points in added time.
Third-placed RB Leipzig were held to a goalless home draw by lowly Augsburg.
And that let Borussia Monchengladbach move back level on points with Leipzig as they snapped a four-game winless streak to win 1-0 at Mainz. Nico Elvedi scored the only goal in the 63rd minute.
Hertha Berlin striker Vedad Ibisevic scored at both ends as his side fell to a 2-1 defeat at Freiburg.
Ibisevic cancelled out a 27th-minute opener from Nils Petersen only to poke home an own goal 10 minutes from time which gave the home side the points.
Struggling Augsburg blew the Bundesliga title race wide open as leaders Borussia Dortmund slid to only their second league defeat of the season at the WWK Arena.
Ji Dong-won returned to haunt his former club as he scored in either half to render Paco Alcacer’s effort a mere consolation for Dortmund, who missed out on the opportunity to pull six points clear at the top of the standings following a 2-1 loss.
Instead, rivals Bayern Munich can move level on points with Dortmund if they overcome third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach at teatime on Saturday.
“We practically scored their goals ourselves with two individual mistakes,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus, back after four weeks out with injury.
“We have to stop that. We can’t give away possession so easily, we had enough goal chances to win the game.
“The difference between us and Bayern is that they are in an upward curve and they do not make individual mistakes.”
The win for Augsburg significantly enhances their survival prospects as they moved five points clear of the relegation zone.
Augsburg were indebted to their South Korea striker Ji, a former Sunderland striker who made five appearances for Dortmund’s reserves five years ago.
The 27-year-old shook off the challenges of two defenders to open the scoring at the second attempt from close range in the 24th minute.
Dortmund, who included captain Marco Reus in their line-up following a month on the sidelines because of injury, struggled for fluency but Thomas Delaney and Jacob Bruun Larsen went close to levelling.
Augsburg though were resolute in defence and Ji doubled his tally in the 67th minute with an excellent chip over Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki.
Alcacer, introduced shortly before Augsburg’s second goal, set up a grandstand finale when he scored his 13th league goal of the campaign nine minutes from time but Dortmund were unable to find an equaliser.