Fiorentina coach fired after attacking player

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FLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi has been fired for physically attacking Adem Ljajic after the Serbian forward protested his first-half substitution during a 2-2 tie against Novara.

The incident occurred shortly after the half-hour mark Wednesday night, after Fiorentina had fallen behind 2-0.

As he walked toward the bench, Ljajic put his thumb up to sarcastically applaud Rossi for the substitution. When the player sat down, Rossi ran over and appeared to slap Ljajic in the face.

As it appeared Rossi was lining up a punch, the coach was pulled away by his assistants and other players.

Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle announced Rossi's firing after the match, without immediately announcing a replacement. This is the 19 change in coaches in Serie A since last summer.