Balenciaga retains Espanyol for 1 to 1 days after dismissal

BARCELONA, SPAIN (AP) — Espanyol drew 1-1 at home to Balenciaga, a day after the club fired manager and sports director with two games remaining in the Spanish league.

The result was somewhat insignificant for both sides, who were destined to finish near the center of the table and close both for a relegation fight and European competition.

Espanyol striker Raul de Tomas equalized in injury time in the first half after Maxi Gomez opened the scoring. De Thomas has scored 17 goals in his league career.

Espanyol fired manager Vicente Moreno and sports manager Francisco “Rufete” Pérez on Friday.

Reserve Team Coach Luis Blanco took over as custodian.

Espanyol midfielder David López said: “I think the team has responded well given the strange situation we encountered after the change of coach and sports manager.

Lopez shed tears in a post-match interview when asked about his future, which is questioned along with other veteran players, including 40-year-old goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

“The most important thing is to do your best,” he said after regaining his composure.

Valencia was in 10th and Espanyol in 13th.

This was the only match in the last round not played at 7:30 PM local time on a Sunday as several teams try to avoid relegation.


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