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Leicester sack manager Claude Puel after home loss to Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha found the net twice for the first time this season as Crystal Palace thrashed Leicester City in front of their home crowd

Leicester City have sacked manager Claude Puel after Saturday's 4-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace, the club has announced.

Puel leaves the King Power Stadium with the club 12th in the Premier League table after a run of five defeats and one draw (1-1 at Liverpool) in their past six matches in the competition.

The Foxes also suffered a shock exit in the FA Cup third round to League Two side Newport County on Jan. 6.

The club released a statement on Sunday morning which read: "Leicester City Football Club has today parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as first team manager with immediate effect.

"Assistant manager Jacky Bonnevay also departs with the club's best wishes. First team coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler, supported by the club's established backroom staff, will assume responsibility for the senior squad while the club begins the process of appointing a new manager."

Puel said after the defeat to Palace: "Of course it is a difficult and worrying time. We were in trouble at the end. It is normal for the fans to be worried, I understand this. The players need confidence, they have played well without fair reward in the last few games."

The Frenchman also had to guide his team through grief when owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died in a helicopter crash while leaving the stadium after a game in October.

Hired in 2017 to replace Craig Shakespeare, Puel was Leicester's second manager since Claudio Ranieri improbably led the team to the Premier League title in 2016, defying 5,000-1 odds.

In his first season, Puel led Leicester to a ninth-place finish; they were 14th in the table at the time he was appointed. Although the club were in seventh place at the turn of the year, they had a dismal start to 2019, suffering four consecutive home defeats.

Earlier this month, Peter Schmeichel, the father of Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, said the club did not have a manager capable of getting the best out of his players and indicated that his son might be looking to move.

Striker Jamie Vardy had also been critical of Puel's style of play this season, although Puel said there was no rift with the striker.

Leicester's next game is a league trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report 

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