First Division - Day 16

Málaga 1 - Atlético Madrid 0

Málaga: Kameni; Rosales, Albentosa, Weligton, Miguel Torres (Santa Cruz 79’); Amrabat (Juanpi 90‘), Recio, Camacho, Juan Carlos; Duje Cop (Duda 70’), Charles. 4-4-2.
Atlético: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Saúl Ñíguez; Koke, Griezmann, Carrasco (Thomas 64‘); Vietto (Fernando Torres 46‘). 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 86. Charles. Volley from Amrabat cross which deflected in to net off Godín.

Yellow cards: Filipe Luis 20’, Vietto 21’, Carrasco 45’, Albentosa 45’, Charles 45’, Gabi 51’, 56’, Rosales 74’, Thomas 83’ / red cards: Gabi 56’.

Barcelona stay at the top of the table going in to the short Christmas break after their closest rivals Atlético Madrid lost 1-0 at Málaga in the last match on Sunday. With the Catalans’ league match at Sporting postponed due to the Club World Cup, even a point would have taken Simeone’s men above them in the table. However they were unable to find the route to goal against a well ordered defence, and Kameni was only troubled in the first half by a Carrasco free kick. Charles brought two top class saves from Oblak at the other end though, and Recio fired a free kick over the top soon after the restart. Some ten minutes into the second half the visitors were left with ten men when Gabi picked up a second booking for cutting out a pass with his hand, but even so Kameni had to be at his best to keep out Fernando Torres. It seemed though that Atleti were still going to get the point they needed until four minutes from the end, when Charles got on the end of Amrabat’s cross to fire in a first time volley which hit Godín on the foot and deflected past Oblak inside the near post. A much needed win for Javi Gracía’s side, and they move up to thirteenth, some three points clear of the relegation spots.