Mark Hughes paid the price for a run of two wins in 11 games as he was sacked as Manchester City manager and immediately replaced by Roberto Mancini.
ity owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak had become increasingly convinced that Hughes was not the man to steer the club into the top four despite a summer transfer outlay of £120 million.
Nevertheless, Hughes was axed with the club sitting in sixth place in the Premier League table – a position the owners had previously indicated would be an adequate return for the campaign.
Hughes had brought in Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure for a combined fee of £40 million, but neither impressed while the form of Robinho also remained a constant concern.
Speculation had been mounting about his future and with Mancini appearing at the ground for the 4-3 win over Sunderland, Hughes seemed resigned to his fate as he watched Roque Santa Cruz seal three points against the Black Cats.
The 45-year-old Mancini guided Inter Milan to three successive Serie A titles from 2006, and Khaldoon said in a statement: “Roberto is a hugely experienced manager with a proven track record of winning trophies and championships.”