Malaga players pose with their second pre-season trophy after beating Granada on penalties. / RAMÓN L. PÉREZ

Malaga beat Granada to lift second trophy

After a shaky first half, the Blue and Whites recomposed, played better than their opponents and won in the penalty shoot-out

SERGIO CORTÉS MALAGA.

Malaga CF brought their pre-season matches to a close on Saturday night in Granada city with another win and trophy. The Blue and Whites, who struggled in the first half and improved in the second, defeated Granada 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out as the teams were level (1-1) after extra time.

Head coach Pablo Guede once again used the same formation as Malaga's defeat to Al Nassar on Friday, with a four-man defence in a 4-4-2 diamond, as the team lacks wingers. But an early goal by the hosts meant that the game plan had to be tweaked, as the hosts found it easy to find space between Malaga's lines.

The gaps that the Blue and Whites left made it easy for Granada to open the scoring, as striker Uzuni raced from the half-way line to chase down a well-placed ball to pass it to Puertas, who easily lobbed it over Manolo Reina's head.

Second-half improvements

Despite their defensive errors and lacklustre communication in midfield, Malaga visibly improved in the last half hour and the introduction of Gallar meant that the Blue and Whites had more strength in attack.

And it was Gallar himself who finished off Malaga's first big chance of the second half. He passed the ball out wide to Fran Sol, who picked out the forward just inside the box for him to slot home the equaliser.

Guede's men were on the up and from the equalising goal they were able to keep their shape and had a few more chances to show for their efforts. But the game eventually ended level, and neither the hosts nor the Blue or Whites could do more in extra time.

The Costa del Sol outfit would win on penalties (3-2) and take home their second pre-season trophy.

After their intense preparations over the last month, Malaga will play their opening league game of the season when they travel to Burgos on Sunday.