First Division - Day 15

Deportivo La Coruña 1 - Málaga 0

Deportivo: Molina; Héctor, Andrade, César, Capdevila; Sergio, Mauro Silva; Víctor (Scaloni 77'), Valerón, Luque (Pandiani 79'); Diego Tristán (Fran 66'). 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Calatayud; Juanito, Josemi, Romero, Valcarce; Gerardo, Miguel Angel (Diego Alonso 84'); Edgar, Insúa (Manu 69'), Duda; Salva. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Mauro Silva, Víctor, Luque for Duscher, Scaloni, Fran / Málaga: Juanito, Gerardo for Fernando Sanz, Litos.

1-0. 58. Capdevila. Header past hesitant Calatayud from Luque free kick.

Deportivo La Coruña recorded their first win in four matches to move back up to second pending Sunday's games. Their 1-0 win over Málaga was a hard fought affair though, and they were at times in trouble against an Andalucian side fresh from their 5-1 win over Barcelona. Their hat-trick hero from that match Salva caused some problems for Molina and his defence, just failing to meet a dangerous cross and heading another chance over the bar before the break. And the hosts were lucky to get off scot-free when Capdevila appeared to handle the ball in the area in the first half.

Irureta had put out a full strength side despite an important Champions' League match coming up midweek, with Mauro Silva returning from suspension and Luque and Diego Tristán both in the starting line up. But they were unable to make much inroads on a makeshift defence, which was missing first choice central defenders Litos and Fernando Sanz, both suspended for this match. Only Luque caused any problems for keeper Calatayud, and the sides went in at half time with honours even.

The Galicians finally broke the equilibrium though a quarter of an hour in to the second half when Capdevila got on the end of Luque's free kick to head past a hesitant keeper. It was the first goal scored by a Depor player in six matches, their only other three strikes during that period coming from own goals, and it was enough to see them through. The win sets them up for Wednesday night's game at PSV Eindhoven, a match they can afford to lose by one goal and still go through to the next round. They will be hoping for a result similar to this one though in order not to suffer.