[LONDON] Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Premier League champions Chelsea on Thursday after a calamitous run of results left the London club one point above the relegation zone. "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent," the club said on their official Twitter account.
The 52-year-old Portuguese returned to Stamford Bridge for a second stint in charge in 2013 and last season led them to the title and a League Cup triumph.
Chelsea were beaten 2-1 by surprise leaders Leicester City on Monday, their ninth defeat in 16 league matches.
Ahead of this weekend's home game with Sunderland, they have managed only 15 points during their worst start to a season since being relegated in 1978-79.
Media speculation had been mounting about Mr Mourinho's position and it reached a crescendo after Monday's defeat when he accused some of the players of "betraying his work".
Mr Mourinho won back-to-back titles for Chelsea during his first spell in charge from 2004-07 before falling out of favour with the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
He was welcomed back as a returning hero in 2013 after spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid and soon delivered a third league title.
However, this season they have already lost the same amount of league matches as they did in the last two campaigns combined, and their hopes of a top-four finish look bleak.
Few could have envisaged their spectacular slump and although the fans have remained loyal to him, the defeat at Leicester proved to be his final match in charge.
The season has followed a similar pattern to Mr Mourinho's previous dismissal eight years ago, although he was given a little longer to reverse their fortunes this time.