Valencia CF have sacked coach Mauricio Pellegrino after the Liga side's 5-2 home defeat by Real Sociedad de Fútbol left them 12th in the domestic standings.
A former Valencia defender – who won the Liga twice at the Mestalla as well as the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup – Pellegrino was appointed in May to replace Unai Emery. However, despite leading the team into the UEFA Champions League last 16 with a game to spare, the 41-year-old Argentinian has paid the price for overseeing the club's worst league start since 1999/2000.
Commenting on the decision that was made shortly after Valencia's first home loss and six overall in the Spanish top flight this term, club president Manuel Llorente said: "As you can imagine, this has been a painful decision. We thought the team were going to respond [after poor domestic results], to give a different image than they had been doing, and we didn't expect we would have to make such a decision today.
"However, after analysing tonight's match and the development of the team since the beginning of the season, we have come to this conclusion. That we have reached this point is not only down to Mauricio Pellegrino."
Although assured of a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, Valencia will attempt to pip FC Bayern München to first position in Group F when they visit LOSC Lille on matchday six on Wednesday.
© 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.