Chelsea fires Grant after finishing second to Man U

May 24, 2008

LONDON -- Chelsea fired manager Avram Grant on Saturday, three days after the club's loss to Manchester United on penalty kicks in the European Champions League final.

The Israeli coach's position had been subject to speculation all season even though he guided the Blues to second place in the Premier League.

Grant took over Sept. 20 after Jose Mourinho quit. Mourinho led Chelsea to its first league title in 50 years in 2005 and the Blues repeated in 2006 before finishing second to Manchester United in the last two seasons.

Under Grant, Chelsea lost to Manchester United in its first match, then lost only one more league match during the remainder of the season. He was criticized for an boring style of play and for losing to Tottenham in February's English League Cup final.

Frank Rijkaard, Sven-Goran Eriksson and, most recently, Brian Laudrup and Roberto Mancini have been viewed as possible successors.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press