BERLIN (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund have sacked manager Lucien Favre following Saturday’s 5-1 loss at home to promoted VfB Stuttgart, the German Bundesliga club said on Sunday.
The Swiss, who had taken over in 2018 after arriving from France’s Nice, was seen as the ideal candidate to break Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on the Bundesliga title.
But in his 2-1/2 seasons in charge he failed to win a German league or Cup title, and Saturday’s defeat was the heaviest since his arrival.
His team’s 19 points from 11 matchdays was the same as last season at this stage, with Dortmund largely depending on the goals of Norway striker Erling Haaland, who arrived in January.
But his injury a few weeks ago clearly exposed the inconsistency of Favre’s team which only got one point from their last three league games.
Haaland’s injury also came after Dortmund had all but secured their Champions League last 16 spot thanks largely to his goals.
Their trademark quick and creative game disappeared in recent weeks, with Jadon Sancho and captain Marco Reus completely out of form.
“We are all grateful to Lucien Favre for his excellent work over the past 2-1/2 years, in which he and his team won two runner-up championships. As a professional and as a person, Lucien Favre is beyond any doubt,” Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a statement here.
Nicknamed “the brain” for his tactical nous, Favre, who previously worked at Hertha Berlin and Borussia Moenchenglabdach in the Bundesliga, had enjoyed a stellar first half of the 2018/19 season with Dortmund leading the title race before imploding after the winter break to see the league title go again to Munich.
Dortmund, who last won the Bundesliga title under Juergen Klopp in 2012, also failed to challenge Bayern last season.
Favre’s three-year contract was due to run out at the end of the season.
Dortmund’s bad run in the Bundesliga this season has meant they have dropped to fifth place.
Assistant coach Edin Terzic, a youth coach who has also worked as an assistant at West Ham United in England and Besiktas in Turkey, took charge of the Sunday afternoon training session and will remain at the helm until the end of the season.
“It is very difficult to take this step,” said Borussia sports director Michael Zorc. “But we believe because of the negative developments lately that there is a need to act.”