Fans turn on Míchel after dire home draw

Diego González rues missing his side's best chance of the game. :: Ñito Salas
Diego González rues missing his side's best chance of the game. :: Ñito Salas
  • The head coach drew criticism after a limp goalless draw against newly-promoted Levante at La Rosaleda

For the first time during his reign, the fans' ire was directed at head coach Míchel following a disappointing home draw to Levante on Friday night.

Having won their last two home games against Celta Vigo and Deportivo La Coruña, respectively, this tie against recently-promoted opposition was one they would have been expecting to win. Yet, matchwinning chances were few and far between.

Malaga knew that Levante, managed by their former head coach Juan Muñiz, would be well organised and yet offered very little creativity from the middle of the park.

In the 42nd minute forward Adalberto Peñaranda came close with a shot from just outside the area that had Oier Olazábal taking no chances at his near post, but besides that, there was very little action to report for either side in a bland first half.

The hosts stepped on the gas after the break and José Recio was claiming a penalty after seeing his shot ricochet out past Oier's left post for a corner. The referee was unmoved and replays showed that the Malaga captain was clutching at straws.

However, from the resulting corner came Malaga's best chance of the game. Defender Diego González, deputising at left-back in the absence of Juankar, raced onto the centre after losing his marker but his volley was too controlled and was gathered by Oier on the second attempt.

González came close once again in the 57th minute when he resurrected Roberto Rosales' deep cross from the right, getting the better of the defender at the back post but failing to get enough whip on his volley which struck the side netting.

Two substitutes almost combined to break the deadlock when Javi Ontiveros carried the ball to the byline before hanging the ball up for Borja Bastón who ought to have kept his header down.

With the onus on Malaga to attack, disaster almost struck in the dying moments when keeper Roberto had to come to the rescue to deny a certain winner from Nano Mesa who was sent clean through on goal by a rapid counterattack.

Disaster was averted but at this stage of the season, a point against a direct rival is not good enough for the Blue and Whites who at the end of play on matchday 14 are once again bottom and four points from safety.

This provoked chants of “¡Míchel vete ya!” (Míchel out!) at full time as the head coach's tactics were brought into question.

The former Olympiakos man has so far been immune to criticism, but following a Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Segunda side Numancia, the fans' patience is starting to wear thin.