Cristhian Stuani goal edges it for Girona in a game of few chances

Stuani and Adrián battle for the ball during Sunday's clash at Montilivi.
Stuani and Adrián battle for the ball during Sunday's clash at Montilivi. / Agencia Lof
  • Malaga coach Víctor Sánchez tried his best to shake up his side's tactical play but his squad lacked the quality necessary to find the equaliser

The lack of resources available to Malaga was put into sharp focus on Sunday as the Blue and Whites struggled to get close to the opposition goal against recently-relegated Girona at a wet Montilivi.

Once more it was Adrián who had to fill in up front in the absence of a recognised centre-forward but on this occasion he looked a fish out of water.

Girona started the game on the front foot and with the movement of Borja García between the lines, they were able to control the game in a way Malaga simply couldn't. His counterpart on the day, Juanpi, was unable to replicate his form, continually dropping deeper, unable to affect play where it mattered.

The hosts generated the first chance; Cristhian Stuani tied Cifu in knots before crossing to the back post where Gerard Gumbau volleyed into the side netting.

The breakthrough, however, wasn't long in arriving. In the 30th minute, Borja García's perfectly-weighted through ball set Stuani free in behind Diego González and Mikel and the Uruguayan had the presence of mind to poke the ball calmly beyond Munir and into the back of the net.

Víctor's side failed to create anything by means of retaliation until after the break when Renato's low strike, after some neat interplay, was parried away by keeper Juan Carlos.

The Malaga coach pushed both the Portuguese and young winger Hugo Vallejo much closer to Adrián up top in the second half and this coincided with his side's best period of play. That said, only a weak volley from Juanpi and an unconvincing shot from Hugo came anywhere near to troubling the Girona goal.

"We knew it was going to be difficult," said Víctor following the game. Though accepting that Girona had the better of the play, the Madrid-born coach argued that their dominance "didn't translate into chances".

The Malaga coach admitted, however, that once thing let his side down: finishing. "We have to believe in ourselves more and we're not going to blame this on not having a striker. We must keep working."

Next up for Malaga is the visit of Andalusian rivals Almeria to La Rosaleda on Saturday (kick-off 6pm). New forwards Lorenzo González and Armando Sadiku should make the matchday squad but are unlikely to start. There will, however, be a debutant in goal with either Kellyan or Gonzalo deputising for Munir who will be away on international duty with Morocco.