First Division - Day 34

Real Sociedad 2 - Málaga 1

Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte, Jauregui, Kvarme, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso, Aranburu (Luiz Alberto 46'); Khokhlov (Nihat 90'), Idiakez, De Pedro; Kovacevic (De Paula 80'). 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Contreras; Josemi (Ivan Leko 72'), Fernando Sanz, Litos, Roteta; Gerardo, Romero, Miguel Angel (Zárate 72'), Musampa; Darío Silva, Dely Valdés (Canabal 82'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Real Sociedad: Khokhlov for Tayfun / Málaga: Darío Silva for Canabal.

0-1. 31. Dely Valdés. Hooked ball into net from edge of area after defence mix up.
1-1. 41. Xabi Alonso. Header down into net from De Pedro corner.
2-1. 69. Luiz Alberto. Soft header over keeper after first heading over Litos.

Real Sociedad were one of three clubs struggling near the bottom of the table to come from a goal down to win their respective matches 2-1. Both teams could have scored in the opening minutes, with Contreras saving from Idiakez and Westerveld stopping an effort from Darío Silva, who was returning to the visiting side after a bout of flu. However on the half hour mark the Dutch keeper failed to connect with a long ball under pressure from Dely Valdés, and the Panamanian striker was able to hook the ball in to the empty net. Before half time though Xabi Alonso made it all square heading home De Pedro's corner, ending Contreras' run of over seven hours without letting in a goal.

Olabe brought on Luiz Alberto at the break, and the Brazilian defender scored a neat winner with twenty minutes to go, heading the ball up over Litos and turning past him to send a second header over the keeper into the net. It was the only ray of light in an otherwise dark second half, with both sides ended with ten men after Idiakez for the home team and then Darío Silva for the visitors picked up second bookable offences. The result takes Real a little further away from the relegation spots, and they move up to fourteenth place, three above the drop zone. Málaga drop out of the UEFA positions down to eighth, but still have a reasonable chance of playing in Europe next season, even if they have to enter the Intertoto cup to do so.