One round of matches into the Spanish league season has brought the first casualty with Victor Munoz sacked as coach by Villarreal.

The former Spain and Barcelona midfielder was dismissed after an emergency board meeting this morning summoned by president Fernando Roig.

Tuesday night’s elimination of Villarreal from the Spanish cup in the first round by third division Hercules of Alicante was the last straw for Roig.

Victor had been under pressure at the end of last season when Villarreal narrowly escaped relegation but his position appeared secure after the club reached the final of the Intertoto Cup last month.

Speculationabout Victor’s future was revived after Villarreal had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Tenerife after leading 2-0 on the opening day of the league season on September 1.

There were no league matches last weekend because of Spain’s Euro 2004 qualifying win in Greece.
By Keir Radnedge