First Division - Day 35

Málaga 0 - Villarreal 2

Málaga: Arnau; Gerardo, César Navas, Fernando Sanz, Valcarce; Juanito, Romero; Edgar (Michel 68'), Miguel Angel, Duda (Tote 78'); Fernando Baiano (Wanchope 68'). 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: Reina; Javi Venta, Quique Alvarez, Gonzalo Rodríguez, Arruabarrena; Riquelme, Marcos Senna (Peña 86'), Josico, Sorín (Cazorla 30'); Figueroa, Diego Forlán (Héctor Font 79'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Málaga: Edgar for Alexis / Villarreal: Arruabarrena, Riquelme for Héctor Font, Cazorla.

0-1. 63. Riquelme. Shot from edge of area after César Navas failed to clear cross.
0-2. 66. Cazorla. Picked up ball in midfield and fired long shot over head of Arnau.

Villarreal moved level with Sevilla in joint third spot after beating Málaga 0-2, a match which Pellegrini's side could really have lost had the home side had more luck. The Andalusians actually hit the woodwork four times during the game, Juanito firing an early shot against the post shortly after Arnau had saved from Figueroa at the other end. And visiting keeper Reina saved the day twice either side of half time, on both occasions tipping free kicks from Duda against the crossbar.

The locals were left with ten men though when Romero picked up a second booking early in the second half, and Villarreal took advantage to score twice in three minutes, Riquelme starting things off with a low shot from the edge of the area after César Navas could only clear Cazorla's cross as far as the Argentine midfielder. And Cazorla himself scored the second with a long shot which flew over the head of Arnau, a carbon copy of the goal he scored a week before against Getafe. To add insult to injury, Duda hit the bar again from close to goal near the end. It was definitely not their night, but at least with Mallorca only drawing they are mathematically sure of staying up.