Stoke loses, sacks manager
Stoke fired manager Mark Hughes on Saturday following a 2-1 loss to fourth-tier Coventry in FA Cup play that heaped more embarrassment on a team fighting against relegation from the Premier League.
Hughes was in charge for 4½ years, guiding the club from central England to three straight ninth-place finishes in his first three seasons.
This season, however, Stoke has been undermined by defensive problems — it has conceded 47 goals in 22 games in the league, more than any other team — and has lost eight of its last 11 games.
Bournemouth avoided becoming another Premier League team to be eliminated by lower-league opposition, scoring an equalizer in the second minute of injury time to draw 2-2 at home to third-tier Wigan. Chelsea and Leicester were also taken to replays.
BARCA ADDS COUTINHO
Philippe Coutinho is joining Barcelona after Liverpool agreed Saturday to sell the Brazilian in a deal that makes him one of the most expensive players in soccer history.
Barcelona did not reveal the cost of the deal for the 25-year-old playmaker but a person familiar with the details told The Associated Press that the transfer is worth $192 million US.
Napoli will go into the winter break top of Serie A after beating relegation-threatened Hellas Verona 2-0. Napoli stayed one point clear of second-place Juventus, which won 1-0 at Cagliari ... Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa scored, then was sent off after celebrating his goal in a 2-0 win over Getafe.