Malaga outplayed by league leaders Espanyol

Malaga were far from convincing in defence and De Tomás (2r) was able to take advantage.
Malaga were far from convincing in defence and De Tomás (2r) was able to take advantage. / Salvador Salas
  • The Blue and Whites crashed to their second defeat on the bounce, dashing much of the early-season optimism surrounding the club

Sergio Pellicer's side were below par at La Rosaleda on Monday evening as they were swept aside 3-0 by league leaders Espanyol.

Malaga got off to the worst possible start, going behind after just seven minutes as they failed to get to grips with the visitors' pace in attack. Javi Puado picked up the ball in space behind the Malaga midfield before spraying an inch-perfect pass to the right for Adrián Embarba who made no mistake in firing the ball across Dani Barrio into the far corner.

Despite their lead, Espanyol kept their foot on the accelarator and had two golden chances to double their lead in the first half. The linesman intervened to rule out Raúl de Tomás' close-range finish for what turned out to be a clear offside, then Dani Barrio made a spectacular double save to stop Óscar Melendo's header, then De Tomás' follow-up.

Things went from bad to worse for Malaga in the second half. De Tomás' movement continued to be too much for the Blue and Whites' back five to handle and the striker ghosted into the penalty area to head home Embarba's cross from the left just six minutes after the restart.

The roles were soon reversed as De Tomás turned provider, crossing low from the right to gift the unmarked Embarba an easy tap-in just five minutes later, ending the game as a contest with more than half an hour still to play.

Malaga's only chance of note came via substitute Juan Cruz who was denied from a tight angle by former Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego López.

This is now Malaga's second defeat on the bounce, having conceded six goals in the process after their loss 3-1 in Mallorca last Thursday.