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UEFA Europa League semi-finalists Hamburger SV have dismissed coach Bruno Labbadia in the wake of a 5-1 loss at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, with Ricardo Moniz named as his temporary replacement.
The Hoffenheim loss came hard on the heels of Thursday's 0-0 first-leg draw at home to Fulham FC, with Hamburg chairman Bernd Hoffman explaining: "We have analysed the situation and we cannot go on like this. Our most recent games against Mainz, Fulham and Hoffenheim have shown us that we have to make a change if we are to be successful in London on Thursday and reach the UEFA Europa League final."
There has been added pressure on HSV in Europe this season, with the UEFA Europa League final to be staged at their Hamburg Arena home. While Labbadia, who replaced Martin Jol as head coach last summer, started well, a recent decline in league results cost him, though Hoffman added: "The decision not to go on with Bruno Labbadia has been a difficult one for us. The coach was very dedicated and totally committed to the club from the first day to the last."
The 44-year-old Labbadia, the only player to have scored over 100 goals in both of Germany's top divisions, had pleaded for time after the loss against Hoffenheim, saying: "That was a dreadful performance. I am very disappointed. This is a bitter moment, but even at times like this we have to remain united and prepare to give the right response on Thursday."
Labbadia started his coaching career with hometown club SV Darmstadt 98 before leading SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and HSV. The only club to have played in every Bundesliga season, Hamburg have named Labbadia's assistant Moniz as their coach for the remainder of the season. The former midfielder has been at Hamburg since accompanying fellow Dutchman Jol on his move from Tottenham Hotspur FC to Germany, and had worked as a skills coach.
HSV also learned on Monday that striker Tunay Torun has been diagnosed with torn cruciate ligaments in his right knee. The 19-year-old sustained the injury after colliding with a team-mate during training last Friday. Torun has scored twice in 19 Bundesliga appearances this season and appeared eight times in the UEFA Europa League. He will be operated on next week.
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