First Division - Day 33

Málaga 0 - Deportivo La Coruña 2

Málaga: Contreras; Josemi, Fernando Sanz, Roteta, Valcarce; Gerardo (Leko 61'), Romero; Manu, Sandro, Nacho (Paco Esteban 74'); Dely Valdés (Canabal 61'). 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Juanmi; Manuel Pablo, Donato, Naybet, Romero; Sergio, Mauro Silva; Víctor (Scaloni 75'), Valerón (Duscher 81'), Fran (Capdevila 64'); Makaay. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Málaga: Sandro, Nacho for Musampa, Darío Silva / Deportivo: Donato for César.

0-1. 13. Donato. Header over keeper from Víctor's left sided corner.
0-2. 93. Scaloni. Ran on to long pass from left to shoot through legs of Contreras.

Deportivo La Coruña moved to the top of the table for the first time this season after beating Málaga 0-2. The scoreline could have been much higher though as numerous opportunities fell to both sides, particularly in a lively first half. Víctor got the ball in the net in the sixth minute only to see it ruled out for offside, and Contreras stood up to Fran in the twelfth minute to turn his effort round the post. However from the resulting corner, Víctor swung the ball across for Donato to head the ball off the back of Fernando Sanz and in to the net. It was great moment for the forty year old defender, who had only just returned to the side after falling out with Irureta and being dropped from the squad only a couple of weeks ago.

Málaga came back though and should have levelled the scores, Manu picking up a pass from Sandro, and after seeing a first shot blocked by the keeper, sent the rebound crashing against the post with the goal at his mercy. Dely Valdés headed over the bar soon afterwards, and two minutes later shot directly at Juanmi after he beat the offside trap and broke free. Depor could well have scored again though themselves, Makaay chipping the ball past Contreras only to see Fernando Sanz chase back and somehow clear the ball off the line at the last moment.

Things quietened down after the break, although both sides did their best to beat their opponents' offside traps. For once the linesmen appeared to be getting it right, pulling up Canabal (who had replaced a disappointing Dely Valdés) and Makaay amongst others. Play was swinging from one end to the other as the game came to a close, Makaay shooting just wide, Manu shooting just over the bar and Juanmi saving from Canabal, but just when it looked like there would be no further goals, substitute Scaloni ran through to shoot under the legs of Contreras and wrap up the game for his side. Real Madrid's draw earlier in the day means that Depor go top pending Real Sociedad's game the following day. Málaga miss out on the chance to close up on the sixth spot, and must already be thinking whether it is worthwhile returning to the Intertoto cup for next season.