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Roberto, with Kevin behind him, celebrates giving Malaga the lead. Agencia LOF
Malaga CF return to winning ways on tricky away day
Football

Malaga CF return to winning ways on tricky away day

Roberto's goal helped Sergio Pellicer's team to finally taste victory following a disappointing streak of three draws

Daryl Finch

Malaga

Monday, 15 April 2024, 09:27

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After three consecutives draws left a significant dent in their automatic promotion aspirations, Malaga CF finally returned to winning ways on Sunday evening with a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Atlético Madrid's reserves.

With leaders Castellón now well out of sight, the objective now is to fight for second place, which will theoretically gift them the 'easier' draw in the play-offs.

And their quest got off to an excellent start with them immediately on the front foot and winger Kevin drawing an early save from Antonio Gomis.

Genaro then had a goalbound shot blocked, before, in the 26th minute, Dani Lorenzo poked a delicately weighted through ball for Roberto who couldn't miss in the one-on-one.

The goal changed the dynamics of the game entirely. Atleti started to push in a bid to get back into the game, forcing Sergio Pellicer's side to retreat into their half while nonetheless retaining a threat on the counter-attack.

Wastefulness

To that end, early into the second half, the visitors ought to have doubled their lead when Roberto's header from an inch-perfect Víctor García cross from the left drew a world-class save from Gomis who dived low to his left.

These heroics seemingly inspired his Atleti teammates who found another gear as they searched for the equaliser. The hosts showed plenty of endeavour, particularly down the left-hand side, but failed to convert two clear chances.

First, Diego Bri scuffed his effort when he had the whole goal to aim at, then Álex Calatrava headed wide from just six yards out.

Malaga substitute Dioni Villalba was guilty of profligacy, too, as he fired his effort straight at the keeper from the penalty spot after cutting in from the left.

In the end, yet another clean sheet for Malaga was enough to guarantee all three points and ensure the gap to second-placed Cordoba is just three points.

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