First Division - Day 31

Real Sociedad 3 - Málaga 0

Real Sociedad: Riesgo; López Rekarte, Labaka, Ansotegui, Garrido; Novo (Stevanovic 70'), Garitano; Xabi Prieto (Uranga 83'), Nihat, Mark González; Skoubo (Mikel Alonso 86'). 4-2-3-1.
Málaga: Arnau; Jesús Gámez, Fernando Sanz (Edgar 59'), Alexis, Antonio López; Manu (Hidalgo 66'), Bovio, Juan Rodríguez, Duda; Pablo Couñago, Salva (Chengue Morales 78'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Real: Garitano, Xabi Prieto for Mikel Alonso, Viáfara / Málaga: Alexis, Juan Rodríguez for César Navas, Gerardo.

1-0. 35. Ansotegui. Headed ball into net after Labaka headed back Novo cross.
2-0. 68. Skoubo. Following up after Arnau couldn't hold Mark González free kick.
3-0. 82. Xabi Prieto. Ran on to Nihat pass and chipped keeper from right of area.

Real Sociedad won their relegation battle against Málaga, running out 3-0 winners to give new coach José Marí Bakero an invaluable first victory. With both sides starting the weekend in the bottom three the nerves were apparent, and the first chance didn't come until the half hour mark when Nihat headed an easy chance wide. Soon afterwards though Real took the lead after a set piece free kick, Labaka heading back Novo's centre for Ansotegui to head home his first goal since his promotion to the first team.

The visitors knew that a defeat here would virtually condemn them to the drop, and they threw everything forward after the restart. Juan Rodríguez brought a finger-tip save out of Riesgo, but soon afterwards the midfield was shown a red card for a foul on Xabi Prieto, leaving his team with ten men.

The Basque side took advantage almost immediately, Skoubo making it two after Arnau could only parry a long free kick from the dangerous Mark González. And a quarter of an hour later it was all over when Xabi Prieto got a third goal with a delightful chip after Nihat set him up. Málaga ended the match with nine players after substitute Chengue Morales were sent off not long after taking the field, and they ended the day firmly rooted to the foot of the table. The future looks bleak for the Andalusians.