Adrián Colunga celebrates his goal at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. :: ÑITO SALAS
Malaga’s performance could not have been more different from their impressive display five days previously against Villarreal. With the team all but safe from relegation it seemed like the players lacked the motivation to continue their recent good run of form. The starting lineup was unchanged from the Villarreal match except for the introduction of Portillo to replace the suspended Amrabat.
Getafe, on the other hand, were lying in 18th place prior to the match and were in vital need of three points before their daunting trip to Barcelona this Saturday.
The home team started the match with all guns blazing and caught Malaga unawares. The breakthrough came after just eight minutes as Malaga were surprised by a speedy break. Ciprian Marica picked up the ball on the wing and ran at pace at the defence. He reached the byline and pulled back a cross that should have been dealt with by Angeleri. But the Argentine slipped at the last minute which allowed Colunga to strike past the outstretched Caballero.
It took some time for Malaga to get their act together and begin threatening the Getafe goal. The home team dropped back in an attempt to thwart any attack. Santa Cruz came closest for Malaga as he his the post.
Getafe suffered a blow after 36 minutes as Marica picked up his second yellow card after standing to close the ball during a Malaga free kick. This should have provided Malaga with an advantage but they were unable to capitalise.
In the second half Bernd Schuster brought on Juanmi. The youngster gave the team more of a spark but the Getafe defence held out. Duda went close with a free kick, but his attempt sailed just wide of the post into the side netting.
Malaga lost their numerical advantage after Angeleri was given a second yellow card following a deliberate handball. Credit has to go to Getafe who played with composure throughout the whole match and almost doubled their lead in injury time as substitute Pedro León was played in on goal but failed to find the back of the net. The victory lifts Getafe out of the relegation zone and means that Real Betis have been relegated.
Bernd Schuster respected the performance of his opponents: “It was a match against a team who are fighting and who are in a very complicated position. We, on the other hand, following Monday’s victory, have given ourselves distance from the relegation zone.
“It hurts me to lose. I wanted a win here although I am happy for Getafe. Of all the teams that are in the relegation battle I would prefer Getafe to stay up. It is difficult, but I am happy for them,” concluded the manager.