June 21, 2020 / 11:23 AM / 21 days ago

Real Betis sack coach after winless return to action

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Real Betis - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - November 2, 2019 Real Betis coach Rubi before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Betis became the first La Liga club to sack a coach since the season re-started after being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, firing Rubi who failed to win any of the team’s first three matches in their return to action.

Betis lost their first game back 2-0 to Sevilla and drew 2-2 with Granada in mid-week while the final straw proved to be Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Athletic Bilbao, after Sergio Canales missed a late penalty.

Betis released a statement in the early hours of Sunday saying Rubi had been relieved of his duties and that sporting director Alexis Trujillo, a former Betis player, would take charge of the team for the final eight games of the season.

The defeat by Athletic left Betis 14th in the standings on 34 points after 30 games, eight above Real Mallorca who occupy the final spot outside of the relegation zone.

Rubi was named Betis coach last summer after guiding Espanyol to seventh last season, succeeding Quique Setien who went on to become the Barcelona manager last January.

He won eight out of 30 league games with the team, including only one away victory. His greatest result was a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the team’s final match before the season was halted in March.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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