- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 10, 2019

NAPLES, Italy (AP) - Napoli beat Genk 4-0 on Tuesday to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League, although it was not enough to prevent coach Carlo Ancelotti from being fired.

Arkadiusz Milik scored a first-half hat trick for Napoli and Dries Mertens added a penalty in the 74th minute following a handball by Genk midfielder Casper De Norre.

The result saw Napoli end a winless run of nine matches overall but Ancelotti was fired less than two hours later.

Italian media reported that former AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso has already been lined up as his replacement.

“The club have decided to relieve Mr. Carlo Ancelotti from his position as first-team coach,” Napoli said in a statement published on its official Twitter account. “The relationship of friendship, esteem and mutual respect remains intact between the club and its president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti.”



For Genk’s 17-year-old Maarten Vandevoordt, the game made for a tough Champions League debut. Vandevoordt became the youngest goalkeeper ever in the competition but was at fault for the opening goal after just three minutes when he gave the ball away inside his own area.

Napoli ended the group stage unbeaten but finished second in Group E, a point behind Liverpool, which won 2-0 at Salzburg.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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