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By ESPN Staff
Dec 3, 2007

Real Betis sack Cuper after Atletico defeat

MADRID, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Struggling Real Betis sacked coach Hector Cuper after Sunday's 2-0 home defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Primera Liga.

The result left Betis second-bottom in the standings with two wins from 14 matches.

'Cuper has proven himself to be a gentleman throughout his time at the head of the team. It is the results that have been the reason for his departure,' Betis said in a statement on their website.

The 52-year-old Argentine, who has also coached Valencia and Inter Milan among others, had been in the post since July.

He is the third top-flight coach to lose his job this season after Abel Resino of Levante and Quique Sanchez Flores of Valencia.

Youth team coach Francisco Chaparro will step up to take charge of the side again. Chaparro steered them to safety with a win on the final day of last season after Javier Irureta quit mid-season, and former French international Luis Fernandez left following a humiliating 5-0 home defeat in their penultimate game.

Cuper quit as coach of Mallorca in February last year, bringing to end his second spell with the islanders.

He was first in charge of Mallorca from 1997 to 1999, taking them to the finals of the King's Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup as well as a club record third-place finish in the league.

He moved to Valencia in 1999 and took a side with little pedigree in Europe to successive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001.

The Argentine replaced Marco Tardelli at Inter in 2001 and almost won the Serie A title the following season, falling at the final hurdle by losing the last match to Lazio.

Inter finished second again in 2003 but Cuper was sacked in October that year after his side went four successive Serie A matches without a win.