Jozabed during Malaga's most recent game against Cartagena. / MARIANO POZO

Malaga don't need to reach the usual 50-point safety threshold

Despite not winning any of the first five games under Natxo González, the team has only fallen one point closer to the relegation zone

SERGIO CORTÉS MALAGA.

The mediocraty of the Spanish second division is greatly helping Malaga's cause. Despite dropping valuable points to Cartagena in the last minute on Monday (28 February), the Andalusians still find themselves seven points ahead of Amorebieta, Fuenlabrada and Real Sociedad B.

The Blue and Whites' upcoming game against Amorebieta is as equally crucial as their clash with Fuenlabrada in two weeks. While wins from these games - both away from home, where Malaga have seriously struggled this season - may be harder to achieve, not gaining any points is the outcome that needs to be avoided at all costs, as it would boost the other teams' morale going into the latter stages of the season.

Lower safety threshold

The trio of teams below have gained just 26 points in 29 league games so far. Not only is it an arduous task for them to reach the usual 50-point safety threshold, but to even get 45 would require those sides to gain roughly half of the points on offer from now until the end of the season.

Their poor form has enabled Malaga to keep almost their entire advantage over the relegation teams since sacking José Alberto. With only two points won in González's first five games, and picking up one win from their last twelve games - the Blue and Whites' advantage has been reduced from eight points to seven.

Paradoxically, if Malaga had beaten Cartagena, they would have been closer to the play-offs than to relegation, while still being in 17th place.