Malaga halted their good progress under Pepe Mel with a fresh defeat, narrowly losing 1-0 to Real Oviedo on Monday night (24 October). The hosts scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot in an otherwise disappointing performance from the Andalusians.
Mel continues searching for the best possible starting eleven. He chose to keep youngsters Cristian and Dani Lorenzo in the line-up, as well as opting for N'Diaye to anchor the midfield and Rubén Castro up top, and Malaga found certain stability.
Real Oviedo, who came into the match one point ahead of the Andalusians, had to risk more; while Malaga sat back and soaked up the pressure, but without lacking in attack.
Malaga did have their chances through Castro and Muñoz, but they never put the hosts in danger of going behind. Neither goalkeeper had much to do.
Things would start to go downhill for the Blue and Whites as they conceded the first and only goal of the night on the brink of half-time. Borja Bastón broke the deadlock after converting the penalty given for a handball inside the Malaga box.
Mel made use of all his available substitutions throughout the second-half, clearly unhappy with how the Andalusians were playing. But despite the tactical shift, Real Oviedo did well to stand their ground and make use of counterattacks, eventually seeing out the game 1-0.
Malaga will next play Eibar at La Rosaleda on Sunday 30 October at 4.15pm.