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Eusebio Di Francesco Sacked by AS Roma After UCL Loss to Porto

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2019

Roma's Italian coach Eusebio Di Francesco holds a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 18, 2018 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Real Madrid CF and AS Roma. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

AS Roma have parted ways with manager Eusebio Di Francesco after the team were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Porto on Wednesday.

The Serie A side won the round-of-16 first leg 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico but were beaten 3-1 in the return after extra-time, which secured a 4-3 aggregate victory for Sergio Conceicao's side.

Di Francesco took over from Luciano Spalletti in the summer of 2017 after a spectacular run with Sassuolo. He took the minnows up to Serie A and even into the UEFA Europa League, cultivating several talented players along the way.

He never fully seemed to settle in the capital, however. A magical run to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2018 largely overshadowed a disappointing domestic campaign, as the Giallorossi finished a distant third behind Juventus and Napoli.

Plenty of turnover followed in the summer―Radja Nainggolan, Alisson Becker and Kevin Strootman were among the departures―and after a narrow 1-0 win over Torino to start the season, Roma endured a nightmare spell.

A 3-0 loss against Real Madrid in the Champions League didn't come as a surprise, but in Serie A, the Giallorossi performed well under expectations.

Perhaps the worst result came against Bologna, who entered the match having failed to score a single goal only to beat Roma 2-0:

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Roma's form did pick up, and the club are fifth in the Serie A table and three points behind Inter Milan in fourth.

However, Saturday's damaging 3-0 defeat to Lazio, coupled with their exit from Europe's top club competition, led to the end of the road for Di Francesco at Roma.

Former Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri is expected to take over the club on a caretaker basis, according to Football Italia.