Genaro being shown a red card in Malaga's defeat to Amorebieta. / MARIANO POZO

Malaga's quest for promotion in doubt

The Blue and Whites ended their undefeated home form and lost two consecutive games for the first time this season

ANTONIO GÓNGORA/PEDRO LUIS ALONSO

Malaga are in shock after their 2-1 defeat to Amorebieta last Sunday (5 December), a result that put an end to their undefeated home record and that meant that the club picked up two defeats in a row for the first time this season.

The Blue and Whites are now faced with a difficult situation. Just last week, the team seemed to be doing great, sitting just outside the play-off positions in the league, despite not being able to win away from home. But Malaga now find themselves all the way down in 11th, albeit still four points off Las Palmas.

But the bigger cause for concern is the gap beginning to form with the teams above the Canarians. The Blue and Whites are 16 points behind leaders Almeria, eleven points behind both Ponferradina and Eibar, eight behind Tenerife and five points behind Valladolid. This means that the current league standings reduce Malaga's chances of promotion even further.

To make matters worse, Genaro's red card on Sunday meant that the Andalusian side's midfield has been weakened even further, as the team will be without the Spaniard going into a tough away game at Eibar on Saturday (11 December).

Head coach José Alberto's options in the middle have been reduced to just Escassi, who will now be accompanied either by loanee Ismael Gutiérrez or academy player Dani Lorenzo, who only debuted in the team's recent cup win over Peña Sport.

Malaga's defeat to Amorebieta, despite being a shock, wasn't entirely unexpected. The side hadn't performed as well as at the start of the season due to the loss of some key players, but these last two games- against Amorebieta and the 3-0 away loss to Burgos- only cemented this notion, throwing away six crucial points that would have seen them sit comfortably in the top six.

The Andalusian side need to start performing better on a more consistent basis if they want to challenge for something other than relegation. The club will welcome the Christmas break with open arms, as it means the players can get some much-needed rest and the board can shop around for signings to strengthen the team going into the second half of the season.