DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund fired coach Lucien Favre on Sunday, a day after the team lost 5-1 to promoted Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund dropped to fifth in the league after the heavy home loss and has won just one of its last five games in all competitions in a slump that coincides with an injury to star forward Erling Haaland. Favre labeled his last game in charge “a catastrophe” as Silas Wamangituka scored twice for Stuttgart, which tore through Dortmund on the counterattack.
Assistant coach Edin Terzic will take charge of the team on an interim basis until the end of the season. As well as trying to move higher up the Bundesliga table, Dortmund faces games in the round of 16 in the Champions League in February after Favre led the team to top its group with a 2-1 win over Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
Favre had been with Dortmund since 2018 and, even before the recent slump, was already considered likely to depart when his contract expired at the end of the season.
Under the Swiss coach, Dortmund routinely fell short when challenging Bayern Munich. Favre’s team crumbled to finish second in the league in 2018-19 after a nine-point lead over Bayern turned into a two-point deficit. It was second again for Dortmund in 2019-20 but this time there was a 13-point gap after another poor finish to the season. The 2019 German Super Cup was the only trophy of Favre’s tenure.
“It is difficult for us to take this step,” sporting director Michael Zorc said. “At the same time, we are of the opinion that the achieving our goal for the season, given the current set of circumstances, is seriously under threat and so we have to act.”
Favre argued he could have turned the season around.
“I find it a real shame that our ways part here,” he told the dpa news agency. “We had two very successful seasons and have a team which would have played a successful season at the end of this year too. I am still convinced of that.”
Terzic was formerly a Dortmund youth coach and scout from 2010 until 2013, and later an assistant to Slaven Bilic during Bilic’s time as coach of English Premier League club West Ham and Turkish team Besiktas. Terzic stood in for Favre for a Dortmund game against Hoffenheim last year when Favre was taken ill.
Dortmund said Terzic will be supported by Sebastian Geppert and Otto Addo, two of the youth coaches who have helped to develop standout young players like Gio Reyna and Youssoufa Moukoko for the first team in recent years.
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