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Liverpool appoint legend Dalglish to replace manager Hodgson

Kenny Dalglish is revered by Liverpool fans after winning 11 English league titles with the club as player and manager.
Kenny Dalglish is revered by Liverpool fans after winning 11 English league titles with the club as player and manager.
  • Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish named as club's manager until end of season
  • He replaces Roy Hodgson, who leaves by mutual consent after only six months
  • The 59-year-old Scot's first game in charge is at Manchester United on Sunday
  • Newcastle, Sunderland, West Brom and Blackpool upset in FA Cup third-round ties

(CNN) -- Liverpool's American owners have sought to halt the 18-time English football champions' poor run of results by parting with manager Roy Hodgson.

New England Sports Ventures, which also owns baseball's Boston Red Sox, announced on Saturday that former Liverpool manager and playing legend Kenny Dalglish will replace Hodgson until the end of this season.

The 63-year-old, who took charge in July, has been unable to turn around the Premier League club's fortunes since NESV bought out compatriots Tom Hicks and George Gillett in October.

Dalglish, known as "King Kenny" by the club's fans after winning eight league titles as a Reds player and manager, will take over a team languishing in mid-table ahead of Sunday's trip to arch-rivals Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup -- England''s prestigious knockout competition.

Did Hodgson deserve Liverpool sacking?

Kenny was not just a legendary footballer, he was the third of our three most successful managers
--Liverpool owner John Henry

The 59-year-old former Scotland international last managed Liverpool in 1991, and has not been in charge of a club since leaving Scottish side Celtic in 2000, but returned to Anfield with ambassador and youth academy roles in July 2009.

"We are grateful for Roy's efforts over the past six months, but both parties thought it in the best interests of the club that he stand down from his position as team manager. We wish him all the best for the future," principal owner John Henry told the Liverpool website on Saturday.

"We are delighted that Kenny Dalglish has agreed to step in and manage the team for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Old Trafford and for the remainder of the season.

"Kenny was not just a legendary footballer, he was the third of our three most successful managers -- three giants. We are extraordinarily fortunate and grateful that he has decided to step in during the middle of this season."

Former Fulham, Inter Milan and Switzerland manager Hodgson called the last few months "some of the most challenging of my career."

"I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window and to have been able to be part of the rebuilding process at Liverpool," he said.

"The club has some great, world-class players with whom it has been a pleasure to work, and I wish the entire squad well for the rest of the season.

"I thank those with whom I have built up a close working relationship at the club for their loyalty and support during very testing times, and finally of course to the Liverpool fans, your passion and dedication to the club will see Liverpool at the top of the game once more."

Hodgson's departure is the fourth managerial casualty of the 2010-11 Premier League season, with Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill quitting before the kickoff and then Newcastle's Chris Hughton and Blackburn's Sam Allardyce being sacked last month.

Former Manchester United star and Sunderland boss Roy Keane was relieved of his duties at second division Ipswich on Friday.

In Saturday's FA Cup ties, Premier League title contenders Arsenal needed a last-minute penalty from captain Cesc Fabregas to earn a 1-1 draw at home to second division Leeds.

Arsenal's England winger Theo Walcott took the unusual step of apologizing after the match, claiming he had dived to win the spotkick.

"I am not the sort of player to do it, but I own up to it and apologize. It is something I don't want to see in my game," he told the club's website.

"I am not happy with myself for doing that, but I am happy that we got the draw. I had a little joke with the referee afterwards saying 'That was my first dive, can you tell?' "

Top-flight strugglers Wolverhampton also face a replay after drawing 2-2 at Doncaster, while Stoke were held 1-1 by Cardiff, but the upset of the day saw Premier League Newcastle shocked 3-1 at minnows Stevenage after Sunderland lost 2-1 at home to another third division team, Notts County.

West Brom and Blackpool were also knocked out by lower-league opposition, losing 1-0 to Reading and 2-0 at Southampton respectively.

Struggling West Ham and Aston Villa won through to the fourth round along with Blackburn, Birmingham, Fulham, Wigan, Bolton and Everton.

In Sunday's other ties, two-time defending champions Chelsea are at home to Ipswich, Tottenham host Charlton and Manchester City travel to Sven Goran Eriksson's Leicester.