Marco Giampaolo

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AC Milan hire Stefano Pioli to replace Giampaolo

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MILAN (AP) AC Milan hired Stefano Pioli as coach on Wednesday to replace the fired Marco Giampaolo.

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Pioli, who has previously coached city rival Inter Milan, agreed to a two-year contract. Milan announced the news in a brief statement.

Pioli, who is an Inter fan, coached the Nerazzurri during the 2016-17 season but was fired after losing 10 of 27 matches. He then went on to coach Fiorentina but left the club in April after a slew of poor results.

The 53-year-old Pioli has never won a trophy in his managerial career, although he did lead Lazio into the Champions League playoffs.

Pioli becomes Milan’s ninth coach since Massimiliano Allegri was fired in January 2014. During that time, Milan has also had three different owners and a multitude of directors in a period of instability.

Milan has also failed to qualify for the Champions League during that period.

Giampaolo was hired by Milan in June as a replacement for Gennaro Gattuso, who stepped down as coach after a fifth-place finish left the team out of the Champions League. However, Milan has lost four of his seven matches in charge.

His dismissal on Tuesday meant his tenure in charge was the shortest of any coach in the club’s history.

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Gattuso talking with Sampdoria as AC Milan fires his replacement

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Rino to I Blucerchiati?

Rising manager and tank of a midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is considering a return to Serie A with Sampdoria after the club fired Eusebio Di Francesco this weekend.

Sampdoria beat Torino and lost its other six matches. It sits 20th in Serie A, miles off the standard of its consistent mid-table finishes the past three seasons.

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Gattuso, 41, is best-known for his 468 appearances with AC Milan, where he twice won Serie A and the UEFA Champions League.

He’d move on to manage I Rossoneri after stints at Palermo, Crete, and Pisa. He led Milan to the cusp of  Champions League qualification, and resigned afterwards citing the stress that accompanied running a club he loved so much.

But Milan has already changed managers, too, firing Marco Giampaolo after collecting just nine points through seven matches. The side had seen a man sent off in three-straight matches, and four on the young season.

Could Gattuso rethink his exit from Milan despite these reports of advanced talks with Sampdoria.

Football-Italia says Gattuso turned down the chance to take over Genoa recently, and he was linked with Newcastle United over the summer and Inter Miami last month.

Capped 73 times by Italy, Gattuso is a World Cup winner.

Serie A roundup: AC Milan escape Genoa with cathartic win (video)

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AC Milan’s first win following three consecutive losses headlines Saturday’s Serie A action.

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Genoa 1-2 AC Milan

Cathartic: the word that best summarizes AC Milan’s victory in Genoa, because even though only a goal separated Milan and Genoa after 90 minutes, the game had one too many subplots.

 

Lasse Schöne opened the scoreline for the home side, scoring from a direct free-kick from distance – a strike Pepe Reina could have saved with ease – minutes before both teams headed into the dressing room. As a result, the pressure was on Milan, who had been distracted by the growing rumors of Marco Giampaolo’s sacking leading up to the game.

What a response they gave.

Just within 12 minutes of the second half whistle, I Rossoneri responded with two goals of their own. The second, scored by midfielder Franck Kessie from the penalty spot, put the visitors up 2-1 against a 9-men Genoa.

Late in the game, with the villain title already on his back, Reina caused more troubles for Milan, rewarding Genoa with the penalty of their own. The Spanish veteran, however, redeemed himself, stopping Genoa’s strike from the spot. The 37-year-old quickly went from villain to hero.

With some pressure off his shoulder Giampaolo and his men take a two-week break before hosting Lecce, while Genoa travel to Parma following the international break.

Elsewhere in Serie A

SPAL 1- 0 Parma

Verona 2- 0 Sampdoria

Just like that, Zdenek Zeman’s gone at Roma

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Had I known, I would have held off on this, but given what had transpired over the last week, Zdenek Zeman seemed destined to go. Today, AS Roma confirmed they’ve parted ways with the 65-year-old, replacing him with interim boss Aurelio Andreazzoli effective immediately.

Zeman took over for Luis Enrique this summer but found his position increasingly untenable amid a winless league run and, perhaps  more importantly, a perceived discipline issue within the squad. He leaves his second spell at Roma with a 10-9-4 record and his steal still alive in the Coppa Italia.

Zdenek instilled an attractive style that had Roma atop the Serie A scoring charts with 49 goals in 23 games. But the Giallorossi had also allowed a league-worst 42 goals and had not won in league since defeating Milan at the end of December. Friday’s 4-2 home loss to Cagliari in the wake of a week of turmoil left Zeman in an unsustainable position.

The two frontrunners for the now open job are Laurent Blanc and Marco Giampaolo. Blanc is a former Ligue 1 title-winner at Bordeaux who led France at Euro 2012. Giampaolo head coaching experience includes spells at Cagliari, Siena, Catania, and Cesena.