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Football: Struggling Sassuolo fire coach Di Francesco

Relegation threatened Sassuolo on Tuesday fired coach Eusebio Di Francesco with the team 18th in Serie A. Last season Di Francesco took the unfashionable team from the Emilia-Romagna region into Italy's top flight for the first time in their history. And just two weeks ago they stunned seven-time European champions AC Milan 4-3 despite going down 2-0 inside 13 minutes. But it wasn't enough to save him following Sunday's 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Livorno.

Football: Seedorf confirms he will take over as Milan coach

Dutch veteran Clarence Seedorf confirmed on Tuesday he is taking over as coach of AC Milan, replacing Massimiliano Allegri. The seven-times European champions sacked Allegri after a shock weekend loss to Sassuolo and have turned to Seedorf, twice a Champions League winner with the club as a player. "This experience of a year and a half (with Brazilian side Botafogo) helped me grow and will help me in the next stage of my life -- as coach of Milan," Seedorf told reporters in Rio. cw/bc

Football: Struggling Livorno sack coach Nicola

Livorno on Monday sacked coach Davide Nicola two days after the Serie A strugglers' seventh defeat in eight games left them second bottom of the table. Nicola becomes the second coaching casualty of the day in Italy, and eighth this season, following the sacking of AC Milan handler Massimiliano Allegri. Livorno released a statement which said: "The club wishes to announce the immediate dismissal of Davide Nicola as coach of the first team. "We would like to thank the coach for his commitment, professionalism and dedication to the job."

Football: Allegri becomes seventh casualty of Serie A season

Former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri became the seventh coaching casualty of the Serie A season when he was sacked by the Italian giants on Monday. Allegri was dismissed a day after a 4-3 league defeat to league newcomers Sassuolo, which left the seven-time European champions 30 points adrift of leaders Juventus. Last week Stefano Pioli was sacked as coach of Bologna and replaced by Davide Ballardini while at the turn of the year Edoardo Reja took over from sacked Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic.

Football: Embattled Milan sack coach Allegri

Struggling Serie A giants AC Milan sacked coach Massimiliano Allegri on Monday, a day after a 4-3 league defeat to league newcomers Sassuolo. Milan are 11th in Serie A, 30 points behind leaders Juventus and 20 behind Napoli who occupy the third and last qualifying spot for the Champions League. A statement on www.acmilan.it said: "AC Milan announces that it has dismissed as coach of the first team, with immediate effect, Mr. Massimiliano Allegri and his staff.

Kaka to start for Milan against Fiorentina

ROME (Reuters) - Kaka will start for AC Milan against Fiorentina at the San Siro on Saturday (1945 GMT), coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday. "Kaka will play tomorrow. He's got his strength back, and is improving physically," Allegri told a news conference. "He's the sort of player that in his head has the desire to show the winner that he is." Kaka scored his first Milan goal since returning to the club in the 1-1 draw against Lazio on Wednesday.

Football: Possible Balotelli boost as Milan host Barca

AC Milan could welcome Mario Balotelli back to the fold for their Champions League clash against Barcelona when the Italian giants will take inspiration from struggling Spanish league side Osasuna. Balotelli is one of six Milan regulars to have been sidelined by injury recently and was expected to sit out Tuesday's Group H fixture at the San Siro due to a thigh problem.

Football: Juve sight Scudetto as Milan lose ground

Juventus virtually secured their 29th Serie A title on Sunday with a 1-0 win over AC Milan who saw their own bid for Champions League football next season suffer a blow. A second-half Arturo Vidal penalty settled what was a less-than-inspiring performance from both sides and left the champions requiring just four points from their remaining five games to defend the Scudetto. Juve, however, could wrap up the title next week if they beat Torino at home and Napoli lose away to bottom side Pescara.

Football: Milan forget Barca glory for Inter showdown

AC Milan's fightback from a disastrous start to their Serie A campaign faces another stiff test Sunday when they are guests of city rivals Inter at the San Siro. Milan's start to the season, only a few months after a runner-up finish to Juventus and just over a year after their title win in 2011, was their worst in history and left coach Massimiliano Allegri hanging onto his job by a thread.

Football: Parma game is crucial, says Allegri

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has pointed to Friday's Serie A encounter against Parma as one of the most crucial matches of the season. Milan will also host Barcelona in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie next Wednesday. But despite that fixture's importance, Allegri says beating Parma and maintaining their fight for a top three place in Serie A is crucial. "Tomorrow is a much more important game that the one against Barcelona. It's an important moment, decisive for the season," said Allegri.
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