Espanyol held by Valencia to 1-1 day after firing coach
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Espanyol was held by Valencia to 1-1 at home on Saturday, a day after the club fired its coach and sports director with two games remaining in the Spanish league.
The result was somewhat meaningless to both sides, who are destined to finish near the middle of the table and out of both the relegation battle and the berths for European competition.
Espanyol striker Raúl de Tomás equalized in first-half injury time after the opener from Maxi Gómez. De Tomás took his league tally to 17 goals.
Espanyol fired coach Vicente Moreno and sports director Francisco “Rufete” Pérez on Friday with its fans angry about the team’s poor finish to the season.
Reserve team coach Luis Blanco took over as caretaker.
“Given the strange situation we faced after the change of coach and sports director, I think the team responded well,” Espanyol midfielder David López said.
López teared up in the post-match interview when asked about his future, which is in doubt along with other veteran players such as 40-year-old goalkeeper Diego López.
“The most important thing is to give it your all,” he said after regaining his composure.
Valencia remained in 10th and Espanyol in 13th.
The match was the only game of the second-to-last round not to be played on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. local time, when several teams will try to avoid relegation.
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