Posted: Saturday December 1, 2012 4:41PM ; Updated: Saturday December 1, 2012 6:31PM

Valencia fires its first-year coach Pellegrino

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Mauricio Pellegrino
Mauricio Pellegrino led Valencia through Group F of the Champions League, but it wasn't enough.
Alberto Saiz/AP

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) -- Valencia fired Mauricio Pellegrino as coach after the 5-2 home loss to Real Sociedad in the Spanish league on Saturday.

"We have been exchanging opinions and we have decided to fire Mauricio Pellegrino,'' said club president Manuel Llorente.

Valencia, which has reached the knockout phase in the Champions League, had gone undefeated in six previous league matches at Mestalla stadium before Saturday's loss.

But it had not won in seven away games in the league this season and was also thrashed 4-0 at Malaga the previous round, leaving it languishing in 12th place.

Llorente said the decision to let Pellegrino go was based on the team's poor record on the road.

All of Sociedad's goals came after Valencia forward Jonas received a red card in the first half, leaving his team with 10 men.

This was Pellegrino's first season after taking over from Unai Emery, who was recently fired from Spartak Moscow in the Russian league. Pellegrino formerly played for Valencia as a defender.

Pellegrino is the second coach to be fired in the Spanish league this season after last-place Espanyol's Mauricio Pochettino was let go last week. Former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre took Pochettino's place.

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