Malaga 1-0 Getafe: Christmas comes early for Roque and Malaga
Malaga and Getafe both looked to earn three points to further their dreams of European glory, while Malaga were looking to give their fans an early Christmas present with three points.
The result ends Malaga’s dreadful league form taking them on to 17 points and 14th place in the table, while Getafe, pushing for a European spot, stay in 7th but may drop down further positions, depending on results elsewhere tomorrow.
Despite Rafa’s 12th minute header which was wide of the mark, Getafe looked like they hadn’t got last week’s poor performance against Girona, in the Copa del Rey, out of their system, as Malaga were far superior but couldn’t find the breakthrough. Eliseu had the goal in his sight on a few occasions,but the Portuguese didn’t have his shooting boots on in the first half with two of his three efforts off-target and the other comfortably saved by Moya.
Fernando Tissone was also attempting long range efforts but both his drives didn’t trouble the Getafe shot-stopper. Both sides tried their luck from free-kicks, Pedro Leon was twice denied by Willy Caballero and Antunes went close for the home side. The left back had a fine performance in the opening 45 minutes, setting up the game’s best opportunity with a low cross for Juanmi, but the forward somehow couldn’t convert from a matter of yards as his shot rattled the post, and the 26-year-old went on a jinking run, skipping past the challenges but his effort from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot couldn’t match the dribble.
Malaga started the second period with similar intensity, with Fernando Tissone finding himself one-on-one with Moya after some nice build-up play, but the former Real Mallorca midfielder was closed down quickly by the keeper and his dink was wide. At the other end Alexis showed some nice control to set up an effort from distance which was off-target. Long range shots were becoming a feature in this game as both teams found it difficult to create clear cut chances,
Eliseu and Morales both tried with drives from 25 yards but neither forced a save from Moya. With 68 minutes on veteran Duda was sent on and he instantly made an impact. His speculative shot from way out seemed comfortable enough for Moya to deal with, but the Getafe no.1 spilled the ball, letting in Juanmi but the striker- for the second time- missed the follow-up from a few yards out.
The evening’s super-sub, though, was Roque Santa Cruz, the Paraguayan, on for Morales, expertly headed home fellow sub Duda’s free-kick, to put Malaga in front on 75 minutes, although the visitors’ marking was non-existent. The goal was enough to earn the three points for the Andalucians, who saw out the remaining minutes without too many problems, temporarily taking the heat off manager Bernd Schuster.
Malaga 1-0 Getafe
Referee: Alvarez Izquierdo
Málaga XI: Willy; Gámez, S.Sánchez, Weligton, Antunes; Portillo, Camacho, Tissone, Eliseu (68′); Morales (73′), Juanmi (86′).
Subs: Kameni, Angeleri, Ferreira, Darder (86′), Duda (68′), Samuel, Santa Cruz (73′).
Goals: Santa Cruz (75′)
Yellow Cards: Eliseu (53′), Duda (78′) Juanmi (80′), Weligton (88′)
Getafe XI: Moyá; Arroyo (84′), Rafa, Alexis, Lago; Lacen (75′), Mosquera; Pedro León, Sarabia (69′), Castro; Ciprian.
Subs: Codina, Valera, Lisandro, Lafita (84′), Gavilán (69′), Míchel, Colunga (75′).
Yellow Cards: Arroyo (21′), Rafa (74′), Ciprian (88′)