English Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion dismissed Italian coach Roberto di Matteo on Sunday, after a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City left them only two points above the relegation zone.
"West Bromwich Albion have today relieved head coach Roberto di Matteo of his duties and placed him on gardening leave with immediate effect," read a statement on the club website.
"This was the unanimous decision of the football club's board of directors in light of a worrying sequence of results which has seen the club lose 13 of their last 18 games in all competitions, winning only three.
"First-team coach Michael Appleton will assume control of first-team affairs whilst the club considers all available options for a new head coach."
Di Matteo, a former Italy international midfielder who played for Lazio and Chelsea, had been in the job since June 2009, having previously worked at League One (third tier) side Milton Keynes Dons.
"This has been a tough decision," said West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace.
"But we, as a board, believe it is the right one to give the club the best possible chance of remaining in the Premier League."