Malaga move themselves back into fourth place after picking up an important 2-1 win over home team ,Espanyol, on Sunday, with goals from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Martin Dimichelis.
It wasn’t an easy ride though for Manuel Pellegrini’s side as they were forced to make a comeback after trailing a goal down in the first half from Philippe Coutinho.
Eying to continue their fine run, Malaga travel to Espanyol with a positive attitude as they weren’t afraid to attack the home team. However, it was the host that managed to took an early lead when Coutinho’s cheeky free kick simply fooled the human wall along with goal keeper, Willy Caballero, who picked up some problem in his hand because failing to catch the free kick
However, Malaga wasn’t accepting the result and got back in the second half when substitute striker, Nistelrooy, pushed the ball into Espanyol’s net in the 76th minute. The home team looked stunned by the visitor’s equalizer and couldn’t get a grip into the game, allowing Pellegrini’s team to double their lead only minutes later, this time through Demichelis’ who pounced on the rebound from Francisco Casilla’s save, which easily tapped in by the former Bayern Muenchen player.
Malaga’s success in acquiring the fourth spot again was aided with Levante’s defeat against Osasuna on the same day, a result which also made the European seat’s chase gets more interesting. Raul Garcia and Nino, both scored in each half to give Los Rojillos an important three points which puts them only a point behind the Frogs in fifth.
Meanwhile, two other potential European place chasers, Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid disappoints again as Bilbao held into a 1-1- draw by Sporting Gijon, while Atletico beaten by another relegation battler, Real Zaragoza. Those two results puts Atletico and Bilbao’s European hope for next season in deep trouble as they keep on losing pace with the likes of Osasuna, Malaga and even Levante, who are still on top of this season’s Europa League representatives.
La Liga Sunday Results
Real Zaragoza v Atletico Madrid 1-0; Espanyol v Malaga 1-2; Levante v Osasuna 0-2; Athletic Bilbao v Sporting Gijon 1-1; Rayo Vallecano v Villarreal 0-2; Real Betis v Racing Santander 1-1