Malaga return to winning ways

Adrián celebrates giving Malaga the lead.
Adrián celebrates giving Malaga the lead. / Salvador Salas
  • Juan Ramón Muñiz's side remain top of the league after five wins from five

After crashing out of the Copa del Rey in ignominious circumstances last Tuesday, Malaga returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Andalusian rivals Cordoba at La Rosaleda on Saturday.

The Blue and Whites, with international stars Alfred N'Diaye and Munir returning to the side, put in a dominant performance to register their largest win of the season so far.

Javi Ontiveros engineered the first chance of the game, striking the outside of the post from a tight angle after working some space for himself on the left wing.

Then with just 15 minutes on the clock, Malaga took the lead. A long throw from Luis Hernández from the right picked out an unmarked Gustavo Blanco Leschuk on the goal line, who flicked the ball on for Adrián in the centre who had no trouble heading past Carlos Abad in the visitors' goal.

Slack marking cost Cordoba again just six minutes before half time when Jack Harper squeezed a cross into the box from the left, Blanco Leschuk's header was saved by the keeper and Hicham followed in to nod home his first senior goal for the club.

The young Moroccan's joy was shortlived, however, limping off minutes later after pulling up while tracking back.

Set pieces continued to be Cordoba's Achilles heel in the second half and they had to be bailed out by keeper Carlos Abad who pulled off an excellent reflex save to deny Blanco Leschuk's header from a freekick.

The keeper was beaten for a third time in the 72nd minute when captain Federico Ricca seized on the loose ball from yet another freekick to acrobatically volley into the back of the net.

"When it's time to work, we must work. But when it's time to enjoy ourselves, we should do that too," said Malaga coach Juan Ramón Muñiz following the game. "We did a lot of things very well again, both in attack and defence."

Over seven hours without conceding

It has been 444 minutes since Malaga last conceded a goal in Segunda, something Muñiz described as "an enormous satisfaction".

"This is fundamental," he said. "We have to profit from the goals we score and to do that you have to concede few."

Goalscorer Ricca agreed with his boss' sentiments: "We have to be as consistent as possible and obviously one of the keys to that is not letting in goals.

"It's all part of a group effort. We're all pulling in the same direction and everyone has something to contribute."