Espanyol sack coach Marquez after poor run

Espanyol appointed the experienced Jose Manuel Esnal as their new coach on Monday with a contract until the end of the Primera Liga season.

The 58-year-old, known as 'Mane' in Spain, made his name with modest Alaves when he led them into the top flight in 1998 and then to the final of the 2001 UEFA Cup, where they lost 5-4 to Liverpool on a golden goal.

His last position was as coach of Athletic Bilbao in the 2006/7 season.

He replaces Bartolome 'Tintin' Marquez who was sacked after the 1-0 home defeat to Sporting Gijon on Sunday saw the side slip down to 17th in the Primera Liga.

It was the Barcelona-based club's fourth consecutive defeat and they had only managed one win from their previous 11 matches.

Mane will take charge of the side on Wednesday, the club said on their website (www.rcdespanyol.com), and his first game will be away to Real Betis next Sunday.