A change in manager for Malaga has not brought a change in fortune for the club after a last-minute winner for Deportivo Alavés condemned Míchel's new team to a 13th defeat of the season on Saturday evening.
The first 20 minutes of the match were fairly even with both teams having equal possession and equal shots at goal. Alavés' keeper, Pacheco, was forced into action early on to deny a right-footed effort from Charles, and a header from Camacho soon after. In the latter stages of the first half, however, despite greater possession, Malaga, using the wings as their main route of attack, were ineffective in creating many more significant chances as crosses from wingers Chory and Keko were lacking in quality.
For most of the half Alavés failed to capitalise on the home side's ineffective performance, despite winning several freekicks around Malaga's box and numerous corners. However, in the 38th minute Kameni failed to stop the visitors' first shot on target and Feddal, an unlikely scorer being a centre-half, provided Alavés with a 1-0 lead. The goal was especially hard to swallow for Malaga as the corner that fed Feddal's successful shot was provided by an unforced error from Demichelis who weighted his passback to keeper Kameni so heavily that the latter was unable to keep the ball in play. The homeside pressed for the rest of the half, but their best chance, a header from Miguel Torres, was a straightforward save for Pacheco and Míchel's team left the pitch 1-0 down at half time.
The second half saw a more threatening performance from Malaga, who continued to dominate possession but were now testing Pacheco much more frequently.
The first 10 minutes brought three freekicks for the homeside and the first booking of the match for the goalscorer as Malaga began to frustrate the Alavés defence. As the half progressed the chances for the hosts were coming thick and fast but did not yield any goals as a strong effort from Charles was stopped again by Pacheco and a potent shot from Sandro on the edge of the penalty area was thwarted by the inside of the post.
The last 20 minutes were the most dramatic of the fixture. An anticipated equaliser finally came in the 71st minute when left-back substitute Juankar, made a smooth finish to Charles' slick pass from outside the 18 yard box. The home fans' excitement was then compounded by the sending off of Alavés' Feddal just one minute later after he earnt another yellow for a poorly-timed tackle.
The following minutes saw numerous chances for the hosts to take the lead. However more attempts from Charles' head and feet were light work for Pacheco, and a well-placed free header from substitute striker Youssef En-Nesyri was still not enough to halt the Alavés keeper's great performance. Nevertheless Malaga looked most likely to get the winner.
The winning goal finally came in the 91st minute, but disastrously for Míchel and his players, it was from Alavés' central midfielder, Edgar, who easily slipped the ball past Kameni after being gifted possession by the hapless Demichelis and too much time and space by Luis Hernández in the Malaga penalty area.
The Alavés goals came from the visitors' only shots on target, which made the final result all the more bitter considering the amount of possession and the number of shots on target the home side enjoyed. A performance from Malaga, which overall looked more promising than their recent form, has once again ended in defeat, and Míchel's first game is a frustrating loss.