Roma fires coach De Francesco after Champions League exit

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco talks to the players during the Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg, soccer match between FC Porto and AS Roma at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco gestures during the Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg, soccer match between FC Porto and AS Roma at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)

ROME — Italian club Roma has fired coach Eusebio Di Francesco following the team's elimination from the Champions League.

Roma announced Thursday that De Francesco has left the club with immediate effect, a day after the team lost to Porto in the round of 16 in the Champions League. That defeat came on the heels of a 3-0 loss to crosstown rival Lazio in Serie A, with the team fifth in the standings and in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot for next season.

Di Francesco replaced Luciano Spalletti as coach in June 2017 and guided the team into the Champions League semifinals last season after a stunning comeback against Barcelona in the quarterfinals.

Club president Jim Pallotta said in a statement on the club's official website: "On behalf of myself and everyone at Roma, I'd like to thank Eusebio for his work and his commitment. Since returning to the club, Eusebio has always acted professionally and put the club's needs ahead of his own. We all wish him well for the future."

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