Jeremy Toulalan scored and
was later sent off as Malaga held on to secure a 2-1 home win
against injury-ravaged Villarreal that lifted them back above
Sevilla into fifth in La Liga on Monday.
Coached by former Villarreal boss Manuel Pellegrini,
ambitious Qatar-owned Malaga took the lead in the fifth minute
at their Rosaleda stadium when Frenchman Toulalan nodded in from
Villarreal's Argentine striker Marco Ruben, filling in for
sidelined first-choice pair Giuseppe Rossi and Nilmar, levelled
in the 16th minute when he finished off a swift breakaway with a
powerful drive high into the net.
Isco netted what proved to be the winning goal after he
played Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon through five minutes
The 19-year-old midfielder followed up on Rondon's saved
effort to poke the ball past Diego Lopez to give Malaga their
fourth win in five matches.
Toulalan was shown a second yellow card with around 15
minutes left for a foul on the edge of the home penalty area and
former Spain international Marcos Senna curled the ball against
the bar from the resulting free-kick.
Leaders Real Madrid moved six clear of great rivals
Barcelona on 34 points at the weekend after Jose Mourinho's side
thumped city rivals Atletico 4-1 and champions Barca suffered
their first defeat of the campaign at Getafe, losing 1-0.
Valencia are third, a point behind Barca, after a 2-1 win at
Rayo Vallecano, with surprise packages Levante a further point
back in fourth thanks to a 4-0 success at home to Sporting
Malaga are three points behind Levante and Sevilla, who
won 1-0 at Real Zaragoza, are two behind in sixth.
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