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Unhappy Völler stands down

Published: Saturday 25 September 2004, 22.55CET
Rudi Völler has resigned as AS Roma coach after the capital club lost 3-1 against nine-man Bologna FC.

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Published: Saturday 25 September 2004, 22.55CET

Unhappy Völler stands down

Rudi Völler has resigned as AS Roma coach after the capital club lost 3-1 against nine-man Bologna FC.
By Paolo Corradini

Rudi Völler has resigned as AS Roma coach after the capital club lost 3-1 to a Bologna FC side that had two men sent off at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

Two for Meghni
Bologna were irrepressible in the opening stages and were 3-0 up after 37 minutes thanks to two goals from Mourad Meghni and another from Giacomo Cipriani. Cipriani's involvement ended soon after, and he was joined in being shown the red card by Greek midfielder Theodoros Zagorakis shortly after half-time. Roma only had a consolation goal from Francesco Totti to show for their second-half possession, however.

Völler 'immovable'
"Völler has put forward the idea of offering his resignation," said Roma sporting director Franco Baldini immediately after the game. "I have asked him to reflect on this because he is not responsible for the performance this evening. I have asked him to take the decision when he is calmer but he seems immovable."

'Wrong direction'
The former German international stuck by his decision and after the board reluctantly accepted, Völler said: "I want to thank the president [Franco Sensi] and his family, who have accepted my decision to resign. I'm used to working in a certain way and I tried to do it here at Roma. Unfortunately, yesterday I realised I was going in the wrong direction."

Dismal start
Roma have won just one of their four Serie A matches this season, while their UEFA Champions League campaign got off to a dismal start when their home opener against FC Dynamo Kyiv was abandoned at half-time after referee Anders Frisk was struck by an object thrown from the crowd. Dynamo were subsequently awarded a 3-0 win and Roma will have to play their remaining two group stage home games behind closed doors. Assistant coach Ezio Sella will take charge for Tuesday's Champions League trip to Real Madrid CF.

Adapting well
The coach who left Roma for Juventus FC in the summer, Fabio Capello, is having a better time of it, even though the Turin side relinquished their 100 per cent record at home to US Città di Palermo tonight, drawing 1-1. Palermo are adapting well to life among the Italian élite and the Sicilians opened the scoring through Cristian Zaccardo in the 16th minute.

Juve on top
Palermo defended that advantage until the 53rd minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised following good work from David Trezeguet, on for Alessandro Del Piero at half-time. Juve lead the standings with ten points, while Palermo and Bologna are in a group of three clubs on six points. Roma are 13th.

Last updated: 27/09/04 14.42CET

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