Leverkusen sack coach Skibbe

Bayer Leverkusen coach Michael Skibbe has been dismissed after a string of bad results left the club without a place in Europe for the 2008/09 season.

"As you can imagine, it was a difficult decision for us," said Bayer's sporting director Rudi Voller.

Leverkusen lost at home to second-placed Werder Bremen last weekend to finish seventh in the Bundesliga.

The north-west German club, who once boasted Chelsea's midlfield star Michael Ballac, were Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League runners-up in 2002.

The 42-year-old Skibbe took over from Klaus Augenthaler as coach in 2005.