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Sluggish Malaga easily swept aside by Huesca

Malaga's Adrián sees red for a stamp on Miguelón
Malaga's Adrián sees red for a stamp on Miguelón / AGENCIA LOF
  • Goals from Jorge Pulido and Juan Carlos carried the Aragonese side to a straightforward victory over the visitors

Sunday's visit to Huesca was Malaga's second game in Aragon in the space of four days; if the draw at Zaragoza left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of Malaga fans, this bruising defeat will have them deeply concerned.

The scoreline did not tell the story of a game the visitors seemed to approach as something to be endured, rather than enjoyed. Had David Ferreiro converted his penalty, and Huesca made their numerical advantage count after Adrián's second-half expulsion, Malaga's goal difference would be added to the list of the club's humiliations.

VAR, prominent in Malaga's last game as well, came to the Andalusians' aid when it ruled out an impressive strike from Pulido within the opening ten minutes. The central defender did not have to wait long to open the scoring, however, meeting an inviting Mikel Riko cross with another volley, which this time did stand, Huesca's number 14 giving his side the lead in the 14th minute. The hosts did not look back after going ahead, and Malaga had no answer to their aggressive pressing game, intelligent movement, and use of space.

Huesca's Shinji Okazaki, the player Malaga had signed this summer but released before he had the chance to play a competitive game, thought he had doubled his side's lead a few minutes after the opener, only for technology to intervene and keep Malaga in the game again. Nevertheless, the Blue and Whites seemed determined to ignore any lifeline thrust in their direction, and Huesca continued to create chances.

A richly deserved second arrived shortly before the interval, the impressive Juan Carlos gliding into the box and producing a delightful finish. Diego Gonzalez's desperately poor sliced clearance shortly afterwards, which drifted over his head and behind him for a Huesca throw-in, was as concise a summary of Malaga's opening 45 minutes as one could have imagined.

Sluggish Malaga easily swept aside by Huesca

/ AGENCIA LOF

If the first half was 'a monologue', in the words of SUR's Antonio Góngora, the second looked like it would continue in the same vein. VAR awarded Huesca a penalty on 50 minutes for Luis Hernández's elbow on Pulido, only for Ferreiro to be thwarted from the spot.

The hosts perhaps took their foot off the gas after Malaga were reduced to ten men minutes later, with Adrián's frustrated stamp on Miguelón earning him an early bath. Little of note took place after this point, with Malaga's best chance coming in injury time, when the dogged Antoñín got on the end of a long ball and went through on goal, only for his shot to be blocked.

Huesca's coach Miguel Ángel Sánchez said that Sunday's performance was perhaps his team's best this season; his counterpart, Víctor Sánchez del Amo, confessed that it may have been Malaga's worst. If this showing was not rock bottom, there is surely not much further to go, and few at the club will be feeling optimistic going into Saturday's game against leaders Cadiz.