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Malaga's nightmare start continues

It was a debut to forget for Diego Rolán.
It was a debut to forget for Diego Rolán. / EFE
  • Simone Zaza's eight-minute hattrick helped Valencia to a 5-0 rout at the Mestalla on Tuesday night

Five games, five defeats. Malaga's season so far has been disastrous, and if zero points was not bad enough, they now sit with a minus 10 goal difference.

It was much of the same from the first whistle as the Costa side took to the pitch at the Mestalla on Tuesday night. Míchel's men were clearly motivated, closing down every ball and chasing every lost cause. But the running came at a price. Valencia remained calm, they played their game and allowed Malaga to tire and lose their shape at the back.

On the right wing, Valencia's Carlos Soler was unplayable. Full-back Federico Ricca was left admiring his sharp movement and unsurprisingly it was Soler, who delivered the first blow. He played a dangerous cross into Malaga's box and Mina's soft header was directed back across Malaga's goal, leaving keeper Roberto stranded at his near post.

Striker Diego Rolán was given his first league start since moving on loan to Malaga from Bordeaux, and he was the visitors' best player in the first half. He consistently made a nuisance of himself from the front, and Valencia's back four were kept busy with his clever movement and relentless efforts.

Just a minute after the first goal, the Uruguayan directed a header towards the near post, but it was palmed to safety by goalkeeper Neto, ending any chance of a first-half equaliser.

After 45 minutes, a point was not out of reach for the Costa del Sol side. But any hopes of a consolation were crushed when former Juventus forward, Simone Zaza, doubled Valencia's lead in the 55th minute, once again assisted by the lively Carlos Soler.

The two-goal lead soon became three; in the 60th minute Zaza netted his second, this time assisted by ex-Barcelona right back, Montoya.

To Malaga's dismay, just three minutes later, Zaza completed an eight-minute hattrick, and the game was all but over. Four goals down, Malaga were left to face the reality of their fourth consecutive defeat.

Míchel's changes were both ineffective and late. Paul Baysse replaced an injured Diego González, while in attack Javi Ontiveros and Juanpi came on for youngsters Esteban Rolón and Mula.

However, this made little difference as it was Valencia who netted again, Rodrigo Moreno rounding off the scoring with a left-footed shot from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner.