MADRID - Malaga moved off the foot of La
Liga with a 3-1 comeback home win over fellow strugglers Almeria
on Monday, boosting the ambitious club's hopes of avoiding
Sofiane Feghouli gave the visitors the lead after eight
minutes but Malaga levelled through Enzo Maresca early in the
After Almeria's Jose Leonardo Ulloa was sent off in the 76th
minute, Malaga wrapped up victory with goals from Jose Rondon
and Juanmi. Malaga's Antonio Luna was red-carded in the dying
minutes and visiting coach Jose Luis Oltra was also sent off.
Malaga climbed to 19th with 23 points from 25 matches, two
short of safety but two ahead of Almeria who slipped to the foot
of the standings.
Malaga's first win in eight matches came after three
successive draws but a relegation fight was not the ambition of
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani when he bought the club last
A member of the Qatari royal family, he spoke of a five-year
plan to lead the modest club into the Champions League but they
have spent most of the campaign in the bottom three.
Malaga started the season with a raft of new players and
former Porto boss Jesualdo Ferreira at the helm but he only
lasted until November when former Real Madrid coach Manuel
Pellegrini was brought in.
They were La Liga's busiest club in the January transfer
window with five new signings including Brazil's Julio Baptista
and Argentina's Martin Demichelis.
The league's leakiest defence was quickly breached on
Monday, hesitant goalkeeping leading to Feghouli firing Almeria
Almeria sat back on their lead and eventually conceded seven
minutes after halftime when Maresca beat Diego Alves low to his
Ulloa was sent off for elbowing and Rondon was gifted a free
header to put Malaga in front, but Almeria ensured a nervy
ending by hitting the woodwork twice in the closing stages.
Substitute Juanmi made sure of the three points in stoppage-time after a glorious backheel from Apono.
Malaga's joy may be short-lived, however, with their next
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