The ecstatic Malaga players savour their last-gasp victory. Migue Fernández
Last-minute winner brings the joy back to La Rosaleda

Last-minute winner brings the joy back to La Rosaleda

Einar Galilea's header in stoppage time helped Malaga see off Atlético B in their first home league game of the season on Saturday night

Daryl Finch

Daryl Finch


Sunday, 3 September 2023, 05:50


For the first time in a long time, La Rosaleda stadium was a joyful place on Saturday night as Malaga picked up their first victory of the new season in dramatic late fashion against Atlético Madrid B.

In the final moments of the match at La Rosaleda, when a draw seemed the most likely outcome, defender Einar Galilea came to the rescue, sending the home fans into an unexpected yet necessary frenzy, given the team's recent relegation and bad start to life in the third tier.

After the Castellón defeat on the opening day, Malaga coach Sergio Pellicer opted for an offensive line-up with more academy players. The team started with a 4-4-2 to put pressure on the young Atlético players, especially in the midfield area.

The early chances, including attempts from Genaro and Dioni Villalba, were met with enthusiasm from the dedicated home crowd, and it didn't take long to complete a promising start to the game: good play from David Larrubia and Roberto's finish gave them an early lead after just nine minutes.

Vulnerable in defence

The Blue and Whites' young and creative midfielders then allowed them to control the ball with some ease. However, concern remained over their vulnerability in defence. And, sure enough, as time passed, the game's dynamics changed and Atlético B grew in confidence, sensing opportunities via through balls.

In the 33rd minute, this avenue of attack paid off. In what was their second clear chance via a through ball, Alfonso Herrero saved but the rebound fell to Diego Bri, one of his team's standout players, who managed to level the game.

The second half started with a more balanced approach, but Malaga's control of the game yielded few results in terms of goal-scoring opportunities.

Red card

That domination intensified even further when Atlético B were reduced to ten men when Assane Ndiaye picked up his second yellow card with ten minutes to go.

Although opportunities were scarce, Malaga had almost total possession. In the end, Galilea's long-range header from a corner in stoppage time secured the victory, leading to a spectacular eruption of joy from the home fans. For Malaga, the fans sensed that it was crucial to secure their first win in order to gain confidence and find their footing in Primera RFEF.

Next up is a trip next Sunday to face Atlético Baleares (kick-off at noon).


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