Poor defending was once again Malaga’s downfall as the Blue and Whites were beaten 1-0 away to Sporting Gijón on Sunday evening. A mix-up at the back allowed Uroš Djurdjevic to score for the hosts, and Malaga provided little in response.
With Alberto Escassi as the midfield anchor, the Costa side started the brighter side and were initially able to placate the Sporting midfield. Even so, they had to wait until the 20th minute for their first real chance, but Yanis Rahmani’s header was well saved by Diego Mariño.
This triggered an instant reaction from Sporting, who were soon able to exploit Malaga’s defensive frailties. No visiting player was able to stop the run of centre-back Jean-Sylvain Babin, who found Aitor García free in the area. Fortunately for Malaga, Dani Barrio was equal to his effort.
However, Malaga were the better side in the first half, and could have taken the lead when a corner found Caye Quintana at the near post. His header went just wide and the teams went into the break goalless.
The game turned on its head early in the second half after a terrible ball from Rahmani was seized upon by Sporting. Full-back Guille Rosas was found in space on the right-hand side and he played in a pinpoint cross to Djurdjevic. Malaga’s calls for offside were in vain and the Serbian slotted home for his sixteenth of the season.
As the game went on, Malaga stepped up their efforts to find an equaliser, but were let down by a lack of cutting edge, particularly from Jairo Samperio and Cristian. Their efforts were further frustrated by Sporting’s effective game management, but their lack of dynamism in attacking areas must now be of grave concern as they sit just six points above the relegation zone.
Next up for Malaga is a home game against Rayo Vallecano at 9pm on Sunday.