sport

Leverkusen sack Hyypia

Bayer Leverkusen have sacked coach Sami Hyypia after a run of results that has left their Champions League qualification hopes in peril.

The Bundesliga side said in a statement that the former Liverpool defender has been relieved of his duties "with immediate effect" following .

Leverkusen had previously managed only a draw against bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig and with just one win in 13 games, could lose fourth place to chasing pair Wolfsburg or Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte has also been released, with youth coach Sascha Lewandowski, who worked alongside Hyypia as co-manager last term, taking charge until the end of the season.

"After a lot of thought and because of the ongoing crisis, we reached the conclusion that a change at this point could help us turn things around urgently," Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade said in a statement.

Sporting director Rudi Voller said: "This decision was more than difficult because Sami did a brilliant job over the last two years.

"The dramatic events of the last few weeks leave us no other choice but to bring about a separation. We want to and have to try everything to save the season."

Hyypia, who ended his playing career at Leverkusen, was appointed as joint-coach alongside Lewandowski two years ago, before taking sole charge at the beginning of the 2013/14 season.