Spartak part company with Karpin

Former Russia midfielder Valeri Karpin has stepped down as coach of FC Spartak Moskva by mutual consent after a disappointing start to 2014 with the club.

Valeri Karpin reacts during his final game as Spartak coach, Monday's 2-2 home draw against Anji
Valeri Karpin reacts during his final game as Spartak coach, Monday's 2-2 home draw against Anji ©Getty Images

FC Spartak Moskva have parted company with coach Valeri Karpin by mutual consent following a disappointing start to 2014, with his 36-year-old assistant Dmitri Gunko taking charge on an interim basis.

Spartak started the year with a loss at FC Terek Grozny and then bowed out of the Russian Cup after another 1-0 defeat, against third division FC Tosno. On Monday, they could only manage a 2-2 draw at home to the league's bottom side, FC Anji Makhachkala – a result which leaves them third in the Premier-Liga table, four points adrift of leaders FC Lokomotiv Moskva.

Now 45, Karpin made his name as a midfielder with Spartak, and returned to the club as general manager in 2008. He succeeded Michael Laudrup as coach in April 2009, leading Spartak to a runners-up finish in the league that season. Karpin returned to his behind-the-scenes job in May 2012 when Unai Emery took over as coach, only to reassume the reins following the Spaniard's dismissal in November that year.