Málaga CF. Match report:
Málaga - Villarreal

Major win for Málaga CF (2-0)

Málaga Club de Fútbol achieved a big step forward in their quest to remain in the First Division after defeating Villarreal by 2-0 tonight, in a great performance by Bernd Schuster’s boys. Goals from Santa Cruz and Sergi Darder tipped the balance of the game, which ended with Amrabat being sent off after questioning a decision made by the referee.

Major win for Málaga CF (2-0)

Málaga were determined to claim tonight’s three points in order to move ever closer to First Division permanency, and wasted no time in generating goal opportunities.  They didn’t have to wait long, as the Blue and Whites opened the scoring after just five minutes.  Starting with a long ball in front of the area, Samu assisted Santa Cruz in finding the net, leaving Asenjo little hope of a save.  The home side had got off to a strong start.
In minute eight, Villarreal came close to an equaliser.  Willy saved a promising low cross from Perbet and a shot in front of the goal area from Mario.  The more Villarreal were determined to gain possession, the stronger Bernd Schuster’s men became on the attack.  After 21 minutes following a foul on Camacho, another chance arose for Roque who showed great control, but came up against a strong defence as he went for goal number two.  It was Amrabat’s shot at glory minutes later after he outwitted two defenders on the left wing, but failed to get past Asenjo.
Málaga CF was comfortable on the pitch and moving quickly with the ball, as Villarreal became increasingly desperate to turn things around.  As well as a great attempt by Duda, the Blue and Whites had a number of other chances to score, but only maintained a minimal lead.
At half-time the score board showed a 1-0 lead for the locals, although they deserved a bigger advantage.  Villarreal did create a few opportunities, but were unable to put the brakes on Málaga who ruled the roost for the first 45 minutes.
Málaga kicked off the second half with the same degree of determination as the first.  Duda was first to test Asenjo with a long ball from midfield, and just as the crowd were on their feet at La Rosaleda, the former ‘Malaguista’ stopped the home side increasing their lead.
Marcelino García Toral’s men made the first substitution of the second half, bringing on Gio Dos Santos, who returns to the line-up following his recent absence through injury.
Things soon got better for the ‘Malaguistas’ as they scored the second goal of the night.  A long ball from Duda led to a fantastic run from Amrabat on the left wing, leaving behind Pantic on the way.  Amrabat arrived at the goal area to find Darder who curled the ball into the back of the net to put Málaga even further in the lead.  The crowd at La Rosaleda went wild.
The Yellows decided to take further action and brought on their most dangerous players; after Gio it was the turn of Jonathan Pereira and Óliver to try and make a mark on the match for the visitors.  Schuster also made a substitution, bringing on Portillo in place of Duda.
The Blue and Whites were forced to play the last 15 minutes of tonight’s game with just 10 men.  Amrabat was shown the red card after protesting a foul that was ignored by the referee.  Making full use of their numbers advantage, Villarreal pulled out all the stops in order to get on the score board, but failed to get past Willy.  Schuster’s men performed well in midfield and at the back for the remainder of play.  With just three minutes left until the final whistle, a Gio header was the best chance for Villarreal to score, but Málaga maintained their two-goal lead.
Málaga Club de Fútbol played an excellent match tonight, and took a major step forward in mathematically securing their place in the First Division, moving nine points away from the relegation zone.  Tonight showed an impressive match, two good goals and a real feeling that Bernd Schuster’s men will excel in the final part of the League competition.

Match stats

MÁLAGA CF: Willy, Jesús Gámez, Angeleri, Flavio, Antunes, Samuel (Eliseu, min. 81), Sergi Darder, Camacho, Amrabat, Duda (Portillo, min. 68) and Santa Cruz (Rescaldani, min 87).
VILLARREAL CF: Asenjo, Mario, Mussachio, Pantic, Jaume, Aquino, Pina, Bruno, Cani (Óliver Torres, min. 52), Trigueros (Gio, min. 46) and Perbet (Jonathan Pereira, min. 64).

1-0: Santa Cruz (min. 5).
2-0: Sergi Darder (min. 52).

REFEREE: Álvarez Izquierdo, ‘Colegio Catalán’.  Yellow cards were shown to: Aquino (min. 14), Samuel (min. 42), Mussachio (min 47), Flavio (min. 63), Camacho (min. 70) and Pina (min. 70).  Amrabat was sent off following a red card (min. 73)

INFORMATION: This 34th BBVA League game of the season took place at La Rosaleda in front of 15,789 fans.  A minute’s silence was held following the death of former CD Málaga player, Américo Canas Martínez, who was a Blue and Whites’ goalkeeper in 1958/59 and 1969/70


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