Malaga made it two wins on the bounce on Thursday night as defender Juande's first-half goal was enough to seal a 1-0 victory against second-placed Sporting Gijón at La Rosaleda.
Brimming with confidence following their 2-1 win away in Zaragoza, the Blue and Whites started the game on the front foot and Caye Quintana squandered the first chance, heading Pablo Chavarría's cross off target.
However, just halfway through the first 45 and they had the lead. A counter-attack led by Yanis Rahmani resulted in Quintana crossing the ball from the right to Juande, whose bullet header flew in past Diego Mariño.
Aitor García came close for the visitors when he flashed his effort wide of the post, leaving Dani Barrio, restored to the team, rooted to the spot, but besides that opportunity, the match lost much of its competitive edge either side of the break.
In fact, it wasn't until the 55th minute when there was another flurry of action. First, Gijón's Gaspar hit the post, before Aitor had an equaliser chalked off by VAR for offside.
Gijón continued to move the ball around well in the final half an hour but Malaga dug their heels in and could even have doubled their lead late on through substitute Mohamed Benkemassa, who couldn't beat Mariño.
Victory lifts Malaga to fifth place in the table ahead of their game on Sunday against Mirandés (kick-off 8.30pm).