Everton sack Rafa Benitez after six months in charge

Spaniard oversaw 10 defeats in his 19 Premier League matches with the Goodison Park club

Rafa Benitez's final match in charge was a 2-1 defeat away at Norwich City on Saturday. EPA
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Everton have sacked manager Rafa Benitez after just six months in charge, the Premier League club announced on Sunday.

Benitez, who spent six years as Liverpool coach earlier in his career, made the controversial decision to join their bitter city rivals in the summer, but after an encouraging start to the season, Everton's form has nosedived.

Their 2-1 defeat to then bottom side Norwich City on Saturday was their 10th Premier League loss of the season and leaves the Toffees down in 16th place in the table.

"Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benitez as First Team manager," a short statement read on the club's website.

"Benitez, who joined Everton in June 2021, has left the Club with immediate effect.

"An update on a permanent replacement will be made in due course."

Everton fans had made clear their desire for Benitez to be axed during the loss at Norwich. They chanted for his dismissal and held up a banner reading 'Benitez get out of our club', while one supporter invaded the pitch in an attempt to confront the Spaniard.

Everton held an emergency board meeting on Saturday evening to discuss Benitez's future, with the talks leading to his departure on Sunday.

Benitez's controversial appointment was a major risk by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri.

Benitez had infuriated Everton fans by describing them as a "small" club during his time at Liverpool, who he led to the Champions League title in 2005.

Last month, Moshiri stood by Benitez, claiming the 61-year-old would be given time to get things right with new signings and injured players coming back.

But Everton's results have shown no signs of improving and, with the mood among the fans increasingly toxic, it was clear Benitez would have to go.

Updated: January 16, 2022, 3:28 PM
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