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A victory at long last

Recio celebrates scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
Recio celebrates scoring the winner from the penalty spot. / Ñito Salas
  • A late penalty from Recio lifts Malaga off the foot of the table

The agonising wait is finally over. Malaga picked up their first win of the season at the tenth time of asking as they saw off Celta Vigo at La Rosaleda on Sunday night.

The home side, who were languishing at the bottom of the table having picked up just one point from their opening nine games, had the backing of the fans from the outset with scores lining the streets around the ground before the game to welcome the team bus with chanting and flares.

Obviously hyped up, the hosts started the game promisingly but couldn't get the better of Rubén Blanco in the Celta goal from the half chances they created; Both Juanpi and Adrián had tame efforts cleared off the line, while Recio tried his luck from distance twice to no avail.

However, right on half time, Malaga took a deserved lead. A long freekick from the right fell kindly for centre-back Paul Baysse to attempt an overhead kick which deflected onto the crossbar and was followed up by a brave Adrián González who put his body on the line to nod the rebound into the back of the net.

Adrián nodded home the opener just before half time.

Adrián nodded home the opener just before half time. / Ñito Salas

The visitors, who had been quiet for the most part, had the ball in the net at the start of the second half through Iago Aspas but the linesman's flag was raised against Pablo Hernández, offside in the build-up.

Aspas, though, could finally celebrate an equaliser in the 76th minute when he got his head on Pione Sisto’s cross from the left to loop the ball over Roberto and into the net.

The scores remained level for just seven minutes, though, with the hosts back in front from the spot. Substitute Youssef En-Nesyri saw his powerful shot blocked by the hand of Gustavo Cabral and referee Jaime Latre showed no hesitation in giving the penalty which Recio calmly slotted into the left-hand corner, sending the keeper the wrong way.

This made for a nervy final ten minutes with head coach Míchel introducing Esteban Rolón in the centre of the park to give his side extra security.

The move paid off and the sense of relief around La Rosaleda was palpable. The win is only the second time this season Malaga have taken anything from a game and lifts them off the bottom of table, leapfrogging Alavés into 19th place with four points, a further four off Eibar in 17th.