Mauricio Pellegrino has been fired as manager of struggling Spanish soccer club Valencia CF after his team's 5-2 home loss to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

The team's president, Manuel Llorente, made the announcement in a press conference, adding that he felt responsible for Valencia's poor performance this season.

The club, which won the Spanish league title in the 2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons, currently sits in a tie for 10th place with Sevilla and Valladolid.

Llorente said everyone affiliated with the club is responsible for the team's woes - management, the coaching staff and the players - but that "we are also responsible for making decisions even if it's very painful to make them."

He said he understood the frustration of the fans, many of whom chanted for his ouster at the end of Saturday's game.

Pellegrino had been hired in May of this year.

In other action Saturday in Spanish league play, FC Barcelona continued its near-perfect start to the season by trouncing Atletic Bilbao 5-1 behind two more goals from superstar Argentine striker Lionel Messi.

Barcelona ran its record to 13 wins, one draw and no losses and has garnered 40 out of a possible 42 points this season, marking the club's best-ever start in the Spanish league.

With his two goals, Messi tied Cesar Rodriguez as Barcelona's top all-time goal scorer in La Liga.

Getafe defeated Malaga 1-0, while third-place Real Madrid was taking on second-place Atletico Madrid in Saturday's night match.