The Malaga squad performed well in a game that could have gone either way on Sunday. Despite most of the possession belonging to the other side, and rather few goal chances actually created, the team rose to the occasion.
The victory means that the Blue and Whites have extended their lead on the table with six wins out of seven matches played, putting them four points ahead of their closet rivals.
The squad, now with more players from the Malaga junior teams taking the limelight, including goal-scorer Harper, have so far managed to maintain their reliability and strength in Segunda, considered a difficult category as the game against this tough Madrid side proved.
The big change in Sunday’s starting lineup brought in by Muñiz was the use of Juanpi. With Pacheco still recovering from injury, the coach gave the Venezuelan an opportunity to prove himself in the league.
The rest of the starting lineup was as expected with Iván on the wing in place of the injured Cifu. The game got off the ground as in previous matches, with Malaga dominating the centre-field and controlling the game, getting dangerously close to their opponents’ goal on a number of occasions.
Failed attempts from Ontiveros and Blanco, meant it was Harper who finally got the goal. With an assist from Iván, Harper was able to head the ball into the back of the net before the first quarter of the match was even up. The confidence and calmness of the Blue and Whites allowed them to dominate their rivals.
The game itself was very equally matched. Each team received three yellow cards, Malaga had five corners and their rivals four. Both teams also had three shots each on goal.
Yet, this seems irrelevant as the only player to convert his efforts to a goal was Jack Harper. He worked tirelessly from start to finish and his resolution was certainly rewarded.
However Harper is not the only player to be praised for the Malaga victory. Iván accomplished much in the place of the injured Cifu. He was determined in defence and brilliant in attack. His most outstanding moment was clearly the assist he provided to Harper, leading to the goal that gave Malaga their win.
Malaga now face Deportivo on Sunday at 6pm.