Malaga started this season's campaign poorly with a narrow defeat to Eibar at La Rosaleda on Monday night.
The Blue and Whites' return to LaLiga started in a lively fashion; within a minute, striker Borja Bastón broke through one-on-one with Eibar keeper Dmitrovic only to be called offside. Just a minute later, Charles, who left Malaga on a free transfer this summer, had the ball in the back of the net, but saw the goal disallowed for handball, picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
Neither side found a rhythm in the first half: Eibar were forced to sit in their own half at times as Malaga's Juanpi played the ball around the centre of the park nicely, but efforts were kept largely at bay by a resilient Eibar defence. Malaga continued to probe the Eibar back four, but a half-volley from Juanpi which went straight into the arms of the opposition goalkeeper was the only threatening attempt from the hosts.
The momentum began to swing in the second half. Malaga looked lethargic and sloppy in possession, and the visitors were first to every ball. Eibar began to cause problems to the home side with a series of well-placed crosses. Their persistence paid off in the 56th minute when Charles turned in a cross from Cote with a headed effort which was out the reach of Malaga's new goalkeeper Roberto, giving the visitors a narrow lead.
Míchel was quick to react and less than ten minutes later made his first change bringing winger Jony on for centre half Diego González. Despite the change, Malaga continued to look uncomfortable on the ball and several defensive errors led to a series of half chances for Eibar.
Míchel introduced En-Nesyri and Ontiveros but his attempts to clinch a point were fruitless. Eibar pressure continued way into the last ten minutes of the game and there were few signs of a Malaga equaliser. Frustration rang through the stadium as the final whistle went, but the lacklustre performance from the home side deserved nothing more.
Malaga start this campaign with a loss and will look to put points on the board in their upcoming fixture against Girona on 26 August.