Monday Kickoff: Tottenham sack Villas-Boas; Juventus drawn in Europa League knockout round; and more

Monday Kickoff: Tottenham sack Villas-Boas; Juventus drawn in Europa League knockout round; and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Tottenham sack Villas-Boas; Juventus drawn in Europa League knockout round; and more

AndreVillasBoasTottenham1-Liverpool2013 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Tottenham’s patience with André Villas-Boas has finally run out.

Early this morning, Tottenham released a short statement saying that they have reached an agreement by mutual consent for Villas-Boas to leave the club, ending his year and a half run in North London. Tottenham spent more than £105 million this past summer on seven signings to help lift the club into the top four, but Villas-Boas hadn’t been able to achieve those goals so far. Tottenham currently sit in seventh place in the English Premier League, eight points behind rivals Arsenal.

“The club can announce that agreement has been reached with Head Coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services,” the Tottenham statement read. “The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties. We wish Andre well for the future. We shall make a further announcement in due course.”

The Portuguese manager has been on the wrong end of 6-0 (Manchester City) and 5-0 (Liverpool) defeats this season, the latter one coming on Sunday at home in what proved to be his final game in charge. Tottenham didn’t indicate who would take charge of the team on an interim basis. Villas-Boas becomes the fifth EPL manager to lose his job since the start of the season.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:

JUVENTUS FACE TURKISH OPPOSITION AGAIN IN EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32

Juventus will have their disappointing trip to Istanbul last Tuesday/Wednesday on their mind when they travel back to Turkey next February.

In the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 draw on Monday morning, the Italian champions were drawn against Turkish side Trabzonspor, setting up another trip to the Mediterranean nation. Fellow Italian power Napoli, who only barely missed out in advancing to the next round of the Champions League, were drawn with EPL side Swansea City.

Other matches to keep an eye on include FC Porto vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, AZ Alkmaar vs. Slovan Liberec, Dynamo Kiev vs. Valencia, and Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. FC Basel.

CLUB LEON WIN LIGA MX TITLE

Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera’s send-off wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Trailing by a 2-0 scoreline on-aggregate to Club Leon, America imploded in front of a packed house at Estadio Azteca on Sunday evening, falling 3-1 on the night, 5-1 in all as Leon won their first league title since 1992. It is also the first Mexican league title for Leon captain Rafael Marquez, who only played three years in Mexico before making a move to AS Monaco in 1999.

Former Wigan and Genoa forward Mauro Boselli gave Leon the perfect start when he scored in the 13th minute to extend the visitor’s aggregate lead. America had chances to draw level in the first half alone but the player of the game, Leon goalkeeper William Paul Yarbrough, a Mexican of American descent, played arguably the best game of his career with 11 saves over the course of the game.

America did find a late breakthrough when Leon’s Nacho Gonzalez indadvertedly deflected a a cross from Rubens Sambueza in the 43rd minute. However, heading into the next half, Gonzalez made up for his error with a powerful header in the 51st minute to restore the lead to Leon and the sending off four minutes later of Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez only helped Leon’s chances of winning.

Edwin Hernandez’s close range finish in the 72nd minute all but sealed the final as Leon won their sixth ever Liga MX title, but first in 21 years.

CHAMPIONS GALORE ACROSS SOUTH AMERICA

In addition to Liga MX, a number of national leagues across Central and South America declared champions last Saturday and Sunday.

San Lorenzo, who includes Pope Francis as a fan, won the Argentine Torneo Inicial with a scoreless draw at Velez Sarsfield. Danubio were crowned champions of Uruguay with a 1-0 victory against Sud America, Universitario defeated Real Garcilaso, 3-0, on Sunday to win the Peruvian title, and former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio won his second consecutive Colombian title with Atletico Nacional in a 2-0 victory against Deportivo Cali.

QUICK KICKS

Lionel Messi’s father is under investigation for money laundering during the “Messi and Friends” tour match in Colombia. (REPORT)

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been ruled out for at least one month with a calf injury. (REPORT)

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is contemplating retirement or moving abroad to a less demanding league as he’s struggled to overcome his knee injuries since March. (REPORT)

Everton’s on-loan youngster Gerard Deulofeu pulled up with a hamstring injury and will be out for the next few weeks, at least through the start of 2014. (REPORT)

A local court in Manaus has suspended construction on the Arena Amazonia after a 22-year-old stadium worker died from a fall of more than 100 feet. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Surprised to see Villas-Boas sacked? Like Juventus’ chances of progressing? Happy for Leon winning their first title since 1992?

Share your thoughts below.

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