First Division - Day 27

Málaga 2 - Villarreal 1

Málaga: Contreras; Rojas, Fernando Sanz, Litos, Roteta; Manu (Canabal 77'), Romero, Miguel Angel (Ivan Leko 46'), Musampa; Darío Silva (Sandro 46'), Dely Valdés. 4-4-2.
Villarreal: López Vallejo; Xavi Roca, Unai, Quique Alvarez, Arruabarrena; Galca, Cagna (Amor 65'); Escoda (Quique Martín 74'), Jorge López (Craioveanu 65'), Calleja; Pizzi. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Málaga: Rojas, Manu for Josemi, Edgar / Villarreal: Unai, Escoda for Ballesteros, Víctor.

1-0. 17. Musampa. Following up after Miguel Angel shot came back off crossbar.
2-0. 72. Romero. Lifted ball past keeper from Sandro's long pass.
2-1. 93. Galca. Beat keeper with low shot from outside of area.

Málaga moved away from the danger zone after beating Villarreal 2-1. Both teams started the day only five points above the bottom three, needing a win to improve their league positions. Edgar dropped out of Joaquín Peiró's line up at the last minute and Manu, who had not even been included in the 18 man squad, was drafted straight in for his first start since joining from Real Madrid B in December. Three players missed the game through suspension, Málaga's Josemi, who was replaced by Rojas, and Ballesteros and Víctor (after a late appeal failed) for the visitors, Unai and Escoda taking their places. Víctor Muñoz in fact was very short of forwards with Guayre and Palermo injured, and Jorge López moved behind Pizzi in attack with the out of favour Craioveanu getting a place on the bench despite making some remarks midweek about his possibilities of playing which upset the club.

The game itself was somewhat soporific, with Villarreal if anything getting closer to the Contreras goal in the first half. The home side scored though in their first real attack, Musampa getting to the ball first and tucking it home after Miguel Angel crashed a shot against the crossbar. Referee Megia Dávila turned down a penalty appeal for a foul by Unai on Darío Silva, but Málaga extended their lead after the break when Gato Romero steered the ball past López Vallejo from Sandro's lifted pass, his first goal for the club he joined in summer. Galca hit the bar near the end, and then finally got a consolation goal with another shot from outside of the area after a short free kick. However Villarreal felt they deserved better, and now find themselves struggling just four points above the relegation zone with Betis and Real Madrid to come in their next two games. Málaga move up to twelfth, their hopes of a place in the Intertoto cup still alive. They still need to go up a couple more places or so if they want to do so though.