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Malaga trip up in Elche and suffer second defeat of the season

Malaga trip up in Elche and suffer second defeat of the season
/ Joaquín de Haro
  • Two goals without reply brought an end to the Blue and Whites' winning streak on Friday

Malaga CF's winning streak came to an end on Friday when the side came away from Elche with a two-nil defeat.

The visitors, defending their place at the top of the table, were out of their comfort zone all night at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero.

Barring an early effort from Gustavo Blanco Leschuk which was smothered by Francis Uzoho in the one-on-one, Elche gradually gained control and then took the lead with a goal from Neyder Lozano in the 36th minute.

The centre-back nipped in behind Luis Hernández to meet Borja Martínez's whipped cross from the left after the original set piece was cleared by Adrián. The Colombian's header got the better of Malaga keeper Munir who, despite getting a full hand to it, only succeeded in pushing the ball further into the side netting.

Unlike in their previous game against Albacete, this time Malaga were unable to fight back. Early in the second half, Blanco Leschuk was again denied by a superb save from Uzoho, who flicked out his arm to stop the Argentinian's close-range volley from Federico Ricca's cross from the left.

Instead the Blue and Whites went further behind when Borja Martínez beat Munir with a spectacular thunderbolt freekick from some distance in the 63rd minute.

Coach Juan Ramón Muñiz immediately summoned Hicham and Dani Pacheco and the latter almost carved out a consolation goal with a freekick which curled into the side netting.

Despite defeat, Granada's loss to Alcorcón meant that Malaga retained their place at the head of the table but the gap has been reduced to just one point.