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LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — American Jesse Marsch is no longer coach of Bundesliga team Leipzig.

The club said Sunday that the two had “mutually agreed to end the cooperation. That is the result of an in-depth analysis and intensive discussions” after Friday’s 2-1 loss at Union Berlin.

It was Leipzig’s third successive domestic defeat and it left the team midtable in the Bundesliga, away from the Champions League qualification places that it has targeted.

“We have a squad that is definitely among the three or four best in the Bundesliga. That’s also our target,” Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff said after the loss in Berlin.

Marsch was watching from afar. The 48-year-old missed Leipzig’s last three games due to a coronavirus infection. He was among several coaching staff and players affected by a COVID-19 outbreak at the club.

Marsch arrived from sister club Salzburg in the offseason to take over from the Bayern Munich-bound Julian Nagelsmann. He had previously worked at Leipzig as an assistant to Ralf Rangnick in 2018-19.

Leipzig has only 18 points from 14 Bundesliga games under Marsch. There were highlights including a 6-0 rout of Hertha Berlin and a 5-0 win over Belgian club Brügge in the Champions League, but these were followed by underwhelming performances.

“The split with Jesse Marsch wasn’t easy for us as I value Jesse as a person and a coach very much,” Mintzlaff said in a statement Sunday. “It’s a shame that it hasn’t worked out as hoped in this constellation, and that this step has become necessary now because unfortunately the development hasn’t been as desired and the necessary results for our season goals have not materialized.”

Leipzig said Marsch was being “released with immediate effect” and that assistant coach Achim Beierlorzer will take charge of the team for Tuesday’s Champions League game against Manchester City.

Leipzig has no chance of reaching the last-16 of Europe’s premier competition but hopes to finish third at Brügge’s expense to qualify for the Europa League. Brügge plays Paris Saint Germain in the other group game.

Leipzig said a successor for Marsch will be “presented soon.”


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