Malaga trip up at home again despite Rahmani's wonderstrike

Rahmani celebrates giving his side the early lead on Saturday.
Rahmani celebrates giving his side the early lead on Saturday. / Ñito Salas
  • Real Oviedo equalised early in the second half and the Blue and Whites couldn't recover as they went down to ten men

Malaga's struggles at home continued on Saturday night as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Oviedo in their second meeting in four days.

A superb strike from Yanis Rahmani gave the hosts the lead in the 13th minute, but they were pegged back early in the second half and any chance of a winner was hampered by Alberto Escassi's late red card and VAR coming to the rescue of Oviedo.

With the enforced absence of Luis Muñoz (who must self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus), Malaga coach Sergio Pellicer opted for an attacking line-up in a 4-4-2. This helped to get his side on the front foot in the early exchanges, although former Malaga striker Gustavo Blanco Leschuk was keen to give his former a employers a reminder of what they are missing.

The hosts took the lead inside the opening quarter of an hour when Rahmani collected Cristian's short corner before unleashing a superb left-footed strike in at the far post.

This initial effectiveness was shortlived, however. Oviedo, initially penned in by Malaga's numbers in attacking positions, slowly started advancing up the pitch and thought they had an equaliser after pinball in the Malaga area but the play was pulled back by the VAR for a clear offside earlier in the move.

Six minutes after the break and the visitors were level. An intricate through pass from Lucas Ahijado fed Nahuel Leiva who poked the pall past Dani Barrio in the one-on-one, despite the best efforts of the Malaga players rushing back to their goalline.

Malaga pushed for a way back into the game and were denied what they thought was a clear penalty by the referee who ignored suggestions from the VAR that there was a deliberate handball.

Things went from bad to worse for Malaga when Escassi received his second yellow for dangling a leg in the path of Samuel Obeng with seven minutes left on the clock. However, they were spared further humiliation by Barrio who produced a reflex save to deny Obeng the winner at this near post.

"At home we need better balance and to find greater rhythm during games. We have to demand more from ourselves," said Pellicer following yet another game without a win at La Rosaleda.

Malaga currently sit comfortably in mid-table, albeit with the third worst home record, having won just twice in 10 games.