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Football: Zenit sack Spalletti over European failure

Zenit St Petersburg, owned by state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, have sacked their Italian manager Luciano Spalletti, the Russian club confirmed on Tuesday. Spalletti achieved domestic success with the three-time national champions but their hugely ambitious owners have lost patience with his failure to make a breakthrough in the Champions League after several big money signings. "The club governing body have decided to sack Spalletti," Zenit said in a statement. "The head coach's assistant Sergei Semak will serve as the club interim manager."

Football: Spalletti confident despite European woes

Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti is confident that the Russian champions can bounce back from European disappointment, amid calls for him to go and rumours that club bosses are looking for a replacement. The Italian, however, has said he has not considered stepping down and hoped that the 2-1 aggregate defeat to Swiss club Basel in the Europa League on Thursday night could kick-start their faltering domestic campaign. "This match should become a new starting point for us," he told a news conference after the match, which the Russian side won 1-0.

Football: Still hope for Zenit, manager says

Reigning champions Zenit St Petersburg still have a chance of winning the league title despite a major setback at the weekend with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Rubin Kazan, manager Luciano Spalletti said Monday. Zenit are currently third in the Russian Premier League with 38 points from 20 matches, eight points behind the leaders CSKA Moscow after Sunday's defeat by sixth-placed Rubin. "Zenit will continue battling for the Russian title as long as there's a slightest mathematical chance to win the championship," Spalletti told Zenit's website.
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