Following their Copa del Rey elimination at the hands of Albacete Balompié, UEFA Europa League hopefuls Club Atlético de Madrid have dispensed with the services of their coach Gregorio Manzano.
Although Manzano, who returned for his second spell at the club in June as a replacement for Quique Sánchez Flores, guided his side through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 stage as group winners, the 55-year-old former Málaga CF, RCD Mallorca and Sevilla FC coach has paid the price for his side's faltering domestic form.
Atlético are 21 points adrift of Liga pacesetters and city rivals Real Madrid CF, following five wins in 16 league fixtures, and were eliminated from the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night following a 3-1 aggregate defeat by third-tier Albacete.
A statement on the club's website read: "Club Atlético de Madrid wish to thank Gregorio Manzano for all of his hard work and wish him all the best for the future. We are now fully focused on finding a new coach to take over first team affairs."
Atlético will take on S.S. Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie on 16 February before contesting the return leg in Madrid a week later.
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