Bosz takes over from Herrlich as Leverkusen coach

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Dutchman Peter Bosz has been named the coach of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.

Dutchman Peter Bosz was appointed head coach of Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday after Heiko Herrlich was sacked even though the Bundesliga side had won four of its last five games.

Bosz, 55, who steered Ajax to the Europa League final in 2017, was dismissed by current league leader Borussia Dortmund last December after just five months.

Leverkusen has given Bosz a contract until June 2020 and he will take charge after the Christmas holidays. The German league resumes on January 18 following the winter break.

After beating Hertha Berlin 3-1 on Saturday, Leverkusen is ninth in the Bundesliga table and seven points off the UEFA Champions League places.

Leverkusen's sports director Rudi Voeller justified the decision to fire Herrlich after 17 months because of the "stagnation of the team's development".

Under the 47-year-old Leverkusen finished fifth in Germany's top flight last season, missing an UCL place on goal difference.

"After a series of unsatisfactory performances in the first half of the season, we are in a situation that calls for a change of coach, from our point of view," said Voeller.

Bosz had been Voeller's first choice to coach Leverkusen in July 2017, but when the Dutchman opted for Dortmund, Herrlich got the job.

"Heiko gave our team an important boost last year after a very difficult season and got us back in international competition," said Voeller.

Leverkusen finished top of its Europa League group and will face Russian side Krasnodar in the last 32.

Herrlich won 22 of 51 Bundesliga games with the club. He previously led Jahn Regensburg to the second division from Germany's fourth tier.

On Saturday, the evergreen Franck Ribery scored for the third time in four days as reigning champion Bayern Munich moved up to second in the Bundesliga table with a 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, leaving it six points behind Dortmund.

After more than a decade at Bayern, Ribery, 35, made another strong argument for an extension to his contract, which expires in June, with a double in Frankfurt having also scored in Wednesday's 1-0 victory over RB Leipzig in Munich.

"The last few games have shown what Bayern can do — I want to praise Franck, he did exceptionally well," said coach Niko Kovac with Bayern having won its last five league games, scoring 13 goals.

Ahead of the four-week winter break, Rafinha scored a late third as Bayern trimmed the gap to Dortmund, which beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 on Friday.

It was also a winning return to Frankfurt for Kovac, who masterminded Eintracht's shock 3-1 defeat of Munich in the German Cup final last May in his last match before taking charge of the Bavarian giant.

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