Malaga let one-goal lead slip to allow Ponferradina a share of the points

Rahmani celebrates giving Malaga the lead.
Rahmani celebrates giving Malaga the lead. / Agencia LOF
  • Yanis Rahmani gave the visitors an early lead but Ponferradina found the equaliser in the 74th minute and could even have won the game

In a game that could have gone either way, Malaga came away from their match with Ponferradina on Sunday with a point, which was ultimately a fair reflection of the game.

Coach Sergio Pellicer, whose pre-game preparations were left in turmoil after his side required a three-hour coach ride from Oviedo in the middle of the night after their chartered flight was diverted because of poor visibility, continued with his rotation policy and the fresh legs gifted Malaga a quick start.

After just 17 minutes, a quick transition from one end of the field to the other resulted in the first goal. Pablo Chavarría's superb strength and hold up play running through on goal helped him to tee up Yanis Rahmani to stroke the ball first time into the bottom left-hand corner.

The early lead, however, didn't benefit the visitors who found themselves inviting pressure. In fact, the woodwork came to the rescue twice in the first half. Gaspar Panadero rattled the crossbar with a quick volley on the turn on the edge of the box in the opening stages, before Ríos Reina hit almost the same part of the goal frame with his free-kick.

Despite Malaga having weathered that particular storm, Reina then turned provider in the second half; his cross from the left was swept home on the volley by Curro Sánchez in the 74th minute to give Ponferradina a deserved equaliser.

Dani Calero responded almost immediately with a powerful run down the right but his shot rippled the side netting.

Pellicer introduced Cristian and Mohamed Benkhemassa to give his side more strength in the middle. The latter, however, showed a little too much and received his marching orders after a rash slide tackle earned him a straight red card in the final minutes of the game and also a sending off for Pellicer for his protests at the referee.

"I don't tend to talk about referees," he said following the game, "but it felt to me that the little things were all going their way and I told him that." As a result, Pellicer is likely to have to sit out Malaga's next match when they host Leganés at La Rosaleda on Saturday (2pm kick-off).

There was one positive off the bench, however: winger Joaquín Muñoz, signed in the summer but hampered by injuries, made his debut in the 70th minute. In the process he became the 30th player to wear Malaga colours in an official game so far this season - a league record.