Paulino battles with an Ibiza player for control of the ball. / MARIANO POZO

Ibiza stun Malaga and bring the party to La Rosaleda

The visitors thrashed their hosts and took all three points in this mid-table clash, calling into question José Alberto's job

SHAY CONAGHAN

Malaga were on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing to Ibiza on Saturday at La Rosaleda, in what was the Blue and Whites' worst performance of the season as they failed to react after conceding.

The Andalusians came into the game eager to get back to their winning ways and rebuild La Rosaleda as the fortress it proved to be in the first half of the season.

José Alberto stuck to his usual 4-4-2 formation and only made two changes. Febas went into midfield in place of Escassi, who picked up a suspension in the last match; while Ismael Casas replaced the injured Victor Gómez at right-back.

Malaga got the game off to a good start, passing the ball around and finding the spaces that had eluded them previously. But the visitors would be the ones to open the scoring.

Ex-Malaga player Cifuentes picked up the ball on the edge of Blue and Whites’ box and put in a cross to Sergio Castel, who had enough time to calmly volley the ball into the roof of the net.

The goal had settled Ibiza down, who were taking advantage of a shaky Malaga side that was hopelessly trying to equalise. But La Rosaleda had got onto the Malaga team’s back, and the hosts created more and more chances as they grew in confidence.

Malaga came close to scoring through Paulino, Roberto, Brandon and even defender Peybernes, but couldn’t quite get the ball past the goalkeeper.

Ibiza began having short spells of control in the last 15 minutes of the first half. The visitors almost doubled their lead on a few occasions after losses in concentration on Malaga’s part, though that was to be expected after non-stop attacks in the opposition’s half.

José Alberto made no changes and kept the same players on the pitch at the start of the second half, confident that his team were close to getting the equaliser.

Self-destructive second half

Malaga started the second half well. Kevin beat his man on the edge of the box and put in a cross that met Roberto’s head, who couldn’t trouble the goalkeeper.

And then from out of nowehere, Ibiza would go up the other end and double their lead, no thanks to yet another gaping hole in the Blue and Whites’ defence giving way to a powerful shot into the back of the net.

Minutes later, the visitors would score their third and by that point, the dozens of travelling Ibiza fans were making themselves heard. But it didn’t stop there. Ibiza scored their fourth from a free-kick attempt just outside the Malaga box, with goalkeeper Dani Martín showing weak wrists as he attempted, in vain, to parry the ball away.

La Rosaleda showed a sarcastic round of applause for Ibiza’s fifth and final goal. The fans were fed up, calling once again for José Alberto to resign. Malaga continued trying to get at least one goal back, but despite making more offensive changes, they just couldn’t score.

In the end, another disastrous display puts into question what the club is going to do in the coming days, whether to keep the head coach and bring in more signings before the transfer window closes, but not before playing their next game away at Mirandés on 30 January.