First Division - Day 31

Valencia 2 - Málaga 2

Valencia: Cañizares; Sissoko, Santacruz, Ayala, Carboni; Marchena, Fiore; Rufete (Angulo 28'), Aimar (Moretti 77'), Mista; Di Vaio (Xisco 58'). 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Arnau; Gerardo, César Navas, Fernando Sanz (Amoroso 65'), Valcarce (Tote 81'); Juanito, Romero; Juan Rodríguez (Manu 75'), Miguel Angel, Duda; Fernando Baiano. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Valencia: Sissoko, Santacruz, Fiore, Aimar for Caneira, Albelda, Fabio Aurelio, Angulo / Málaga: No change.

1-0. 19. Di Vaio. Picked up Mista pass and rounded Arnau to score.
1-1. 34. Baiano. Pulled down long Valcarce pass and shot low past keeper.
2-1. 44. Di Vaio. Shot through hand of keeper after Sissoko laid ball back.
2-2. 93. Duda. Shot from outside of area which bounced past Cañizares.

A depleted Valencia side missed out on a chance to move back up to the European spots after they could only draw 2-2 with Málaga. Local coach Antonio López was missing seven of his first team squad through injury or suspension, and gave a first start to young defender Santacruz. And his side took the lead in the twentieth minute after Di Vaio ran on to a pass from Mista to dribble round Arnau and score.

The locals suffered a blow when Rufete limped off, and before Angulo came on to replace him Juan Rodríguez almost headed an equaliser. And five minutes or so later the visitors did draw level when Baiano controlled a long ball from Valcarce and held off Marchena before beating Cañizares. Di Vaio re-established the lead though on the stroke of half time after good work by Sissoko down the left wing, the Italian striker connecting with his pass to fire in a strong shot which Arnau was unable to deflect.

The Andalusians did their best to fight back after the restart, Romero somehow shooting over the top when close to goal following a free kick. But substitute Xisco should have put the hosts further ahead a couple of times later in the half when he was unable to beat Arnau. Even so his side seemed to be heading for a much needed win until Duda picked up the ball outside the area in the third minute of injury time, the Portuguese midfielder striking a speculative shot which Cañizares allowed to bounce past him into the net.