Ambitious Malaga climbed
above Sevilla into fifth in La Liga when teenage midfielder Isco
and Uruguayan forward Seba Fernandez struck in a 3-1 win for the
Qatar-owned club at struggling Racing Santander on Monday.
The 19-year-old Isco pounced on a loose ball to open the
scoring in the 48th minute at the Sardinero before Alvaro
Gonzalez diverted the ball into his own net to make it 2-0 in
Manuel Arana pulled a goal back for the home side when he
finished off a swift counter-attack four minutes later and
substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy crossed for Fernandez (pictured) to volley
home with a minute of regular-time remaining.
Malaga have 20 points from 12 matches, two more than their
Andalusian rivals Sevilla, who lost 2-1 at home to Athletic
Bilbao on Sunday, and three behind fourth-placed Levante, 3-2
losers at Atletico Madrid.
Santander, who have just one win under former Valencia and
Inter Milan coach Hector Cuper this season, are on nine points
and drop below Real Sociedad to the bottom of the standings on
Malaga, on Spain's southern coast, were bought by a member
of the Qatar royal family at the end of the 2009/10 campaign and
have been busy in the transfer market as they eye a berth in
European competition next season.
Managed by former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, they
landed several high-profile players, including Dutch striker Van
Nistelrooy, Spain playmaker Santi Cazorla and French midfielder
The table has a familiar look after the weekend action,
leaders Real Madrid and second-placed Barcelona having pulled
further away at the top thanks to victories over Valencia and
Real edged an entertaining but ill-tempered game at the
Mestalla 3-2 for their eighth league win in a row and 11th in
all competitions, while champions Barca thumped Zaragoza 4-0 at
the Nou Camp, La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi netting his 15th
of the campaign.
Real, who host their great rivals in the opening 'Clasico'
of the season on December 10, have 31 points, three ahead of Barca.
Valencia, the last club apart from the big two to win the title,
back in 2004, are third on 24.
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