Sunday, 19 November 2023, 06:00
Malaga CF finally tasted defeat at home this season after struggling Alcoyano bagged a shock 2-1 win on Saturday evening.
The game got off to the worst possible start for Malaga who, despite creating two clear chances in the frantic opening exchanges, found themselves two goals down within just 27 minutes.
Full-back Jokin Gabilondo ought to have put the Blue and Whites ahead shortly after kick-off, but he somehow managed to miss the target from just inside the area following a delicate cut-back from the left.
Roberto then missed a gilt-edged chance of his own from a similar position, but at least managed to draw a save from goalkeeper Jaume Valens.
Despite this, Alcoyano still persisted with their intense pressing game, ensuring Malaga were never comfortable.
In the 18th minute, their high-energy style paid off, robbing the ball in their own half, before an excellent through pass on the turn set Sergi Garcia through on goal to beat Alfonso Herrero in the one on one.
Less than ten minutes later, a ball into the same channel on the right-hand-side of Malaga’s defence proved to be their undoing again: this time José Alonso Lara held the ball up well before curling a delightful shot into the far corner.
Matters then went from bad to worse for Malaga as David Larrubia was forced off with a concerning-looking injury.
But with Kevin brought on in his place, and a double change from coach Sergio Pellicer at the break, the Blue and Whites flew out the traps at the start of the first half.
Kevin, clearly riled up, decided to take matters into his own hands. After thrusting forward down the left wing, his shot was blocked by a hand and a penalty was awarded. The number 11 then stood up himself to bury it into the bottom left-hand corner, just out of the keeper’s reach.
However, just as the 20,000 fans inside La Rosaleda started to find their voices, the game went somewhat flat.
Even when Pellicer piled his players forward in numbers, they lacked the composure in the final third, often panicking and choosing the wrong option.
In stoppage time, substitute Loren Zúñiga’s header over the bar was the side’s best opportunity. Like the rest of them, it was also off-target.
The Blue and Whites remain in third place after the defeat, but with Sunday’s fixtures still to be played, they could now find themselves further adrift of the leading pack.
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