Malaga's home form continues to disappoint

Joaquín tries to squeeze the ball in at the near post.
Joaquín tries to squeeze the ball in at the near post. / S. SALAS
  • The lowly visitors had a helping hand from VAR to condemn the Blue and Whites to their fifth game without a win at La Rosaleda

Their away form may be among the best in the division, but Malaga continue to struggle at La Rosaleda. After a 2-1 defeat to Cartagena on Saturday afternoon, the Blue and Whites have now gone five games without a win on home soil.

This was despite starting the game much the better team. Orlando Sá headed the first chance of the encounter well wide before Malaga took the lead in the 17th minute. Cristian Rodríguez's spectacular volley from the edge of the box found the next after a fortunate ricochet off the post hit the back of the sprawling Cartagena keeper Marc Martínez before crossing the line.

However, Malaga's fortune didn't last long. In the 29th minute the scores were level after Álex Gallar's free-kick from long range crept in at the far post. Despite there being four Cartagena players in an offside position, the VAR controversially concluded that they weren't interfering with play even though keeper Juan Soriano reacted late, seemingly as a result of their presence in front of him.

VAR attracted further ire from the Malaga players after the restart when Alberto De la Bella gave the visitors the lead from a tight angle after a neat one-two. Again, the video assistant ruled against Malaga who had complained that Jozabed had been on the receiving end of a robust challenge in the build-up.

Coach Sergio Pellicer refused to comment directly on the officiating but said that he felt "anger" at the way in which his team lost the game.