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Why a result at the Camp Nou led to Leo Franco's dismissal with Huesca

Roy Emanuel
707   //    11 Oct 2018, 02:42 IST

Leo Franco
Leo Franco

SD Huesca had plenty to be proud of at the start of the 2018-19 campaign. Founded in 1960, the club are taking part in their first-ever LaLiga season, and it could not have begun in a better way. In their opening top-flight fixture, they secured a memorable 2-1 victory at Eibar. A hard fought 2-2 draw at Athletic Club followed, but the good times would not last long for manager Leo Franco.

The Argentine coach was relieved of his duties this week, with the club confirming the announcement on Tuesday evening. Francisco Rodríguez will assume control of the squad in a caretaker role. Huesca have earned one point from their last six league games.

A talented goalkeeper in his playing days (most notably for Atlético Madrid), Franco finished his career with Huesca in the Segunda División during the 2015-16 term. The 41-year-old would move into a director position with the club, as they made their charge for LaLiga. Manager Rubi exited for RCD Espanyol prior to the start of this season, so Franco was again ready to adapt.

He would be the one to lead the team into LaLiga, but a string of poor results undermined his chances of completing this season. It was always going to be difficult for Huesca against the league’s best, but one match in particular ultimately brought disastrous effects.

A September visit to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona produced an emphatic 8-2 loss, as Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez absolutely dominated their opponents. A severe blow not only to their bright start in the campaign, but also to their collective confidence. Four defeats and one draw would arrive after that disappointing game in Catalonia.

Now at the bottom of LaLiga’s table with five points from eight fixtures, Huesca’s board felt that a move needed to be made and that it needed to be made quickly.

Even one more win at the moment could be making a tremendous difference for the squad, enough to get them out of the relegation zone. On top of this, the failure versus Barcelona destroyed Huesca’s goal difference. This aspect can be very important in the midst of a survival quest, as that statistic may potentially be what separates another LaLiga season and the unwanted drop back to the second division.

Now with Francisco at the helm, fans will be hoping for a better showing in their next match after the international break against former boss Rubi and Espanyol.

Leo Franco had done much to help Huesca achieve their goal of top-flight football. However, as their manager, one deflating outing at Barcelona initiated a series of unfortunate events.