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On this day: Chelsea sack Claudio Ranieri ahead of Jose Mourinho appointment

:Headline: On this day: Chelsea sack Claudio Ranieri ahead of Jose Mourinho appointment:
The Italian had a four-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

On May 31, 2004 Chelsea sacked Claudio Ranieri after four years in charge.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at his dismissal and his spell at Stamford Bridge.

The Tinkerman

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri brought a host of players to the club over his four-year stay (Matthew Fearn/PA)

Italian Ranieri took over from Gianluca Vialli in September 2000 and quickly earned the nickname 'Tinkerman' for constantly changing his team around. He delivered Champions League football for the first time in 2003 and took them to the FA Cup final in 2002, but could not take them to the very top of the English game.

Paying the price

Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich demanded success for the millions he spent (Rebecca Naden/PA)

His job changed forever in 2003 when Roman Abramovich took over the west London club. Suddenly, Ranieri had endless money to spend, splashing out £120million ahead of the 2003-04 season. But with that came expectation and it soon became clear that Abramovich was not going to settle for anything less than the best. The Russian was spotted with England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson shortly after becoming owner and the axe was hanging over his head. Despite that, he led Chelsea to second place, their best-ever Premier League finish at that time – finishing only behind invincible Arsenal -while they also got to the last four of the Champions League.

The Special One

Despite that improvement it was not enough for Abramovich, who pulled the trigger not long after the season finished, with Ranieri gaining sympathy across the football community. He was replaced by Porto manager Jose Mourinho and although Abramovich received criticism for the decision, it was an inspired appointment as the self-appointed Special One delivered back-to-back Premier League titles. Ranieri went on to manage a host of top European clubs and eventually got his hands on the Premier League trophy 12 years after leaving Chelsea when he led Leicester to an incredible title.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool33292272254789
2Manchester CityMan City33213981344766
3Chelsea341861063461760
4Leicester CityLeicester34178964323259
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal34121485042850
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs33139115244848
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd33121293433148
10Burnley33137133746-946
11Everton33128134048-844
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle331110123545-1043
13Southampton33134164255-1343
14Crystal Palace34119143043-1342
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3387184058-1831
17Watford34710173153-2231
18Aston Villa3376203662-2627
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3456232663-3721
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool33292272254789
2Manchester CityMan City33213981344766
3Chelsea341861063461760
4Leicester CityLeicester34178964323259
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal34121485042850
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs33139115244848
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd33121293433148
10Burnley33137133746-946
11Everton33128134048-844
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle331110123545-1043
13Southampton33134164255-1343
14Crystal Palace34119143043-1342
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3387184058-1831
17Watford34710173153-2231
18Aston Villa3376203662-2627
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3456232663-3721
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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