Despite missing a penalty in the early minutes, goals from Isco, Santi Cazorla and Ruud Van Nistelrooy were more than enough to lift them up a place, giving more hope on their European dream by the end of season.
Playing against relegation battler, Santander, victory seemed to be given right on the plate for Malaga as in less then five minutes, they already had a penalty along with man advantage after the referee gave the marching order for Francis Jesus Perez. Unfortunately the early spot kick didn’t gave a goal for the home team as Cazorla failed to beat Mario, who stood his ground immensely, saving the Spanish international’s kick with a swagger.
However, the missed penalty isn’t stopping Malaga’s waves as few minutes later a fine curler from talented Isco opened the victory for the home team. Although dominating the match along with creating tons of chances, it took quite a while for the home team before extending their lead as Cazorla doubled the lead in the 64th minute, making a means for his previous spot kick failure. Nistelrooy sealed Pellegrini’s team victory and marked their rise into third place, a position which would give a direct Champions League group stage passage for them.
Considering their excellent run of form, it’s very possible that Malaga could steal the third place position from Valencia, especially since Unay Emery’s side are having an inconsistent form recently. Getting into the Champions League direct qualification could also opens the gate for Pellegrini’s team in getting more quality players in the squad, as the European attraction is more than enough insentive along with the huge cash the club already have.