Málaga CF. Match report:
Málaga - Levante

Perfect end to the season (1-0)

Málaga CF put the finishing touches to the end of the League season in the best way possible, with a win against Levante. A goal from Portillo ensured the Blue and Whites kept the last three points of the season at home. Tonight was most definitely party night at La Rosaleda.

Perfect end to the season (1-0)

With nothing in play for either team during the last match of the season, Schuster selected a slightly different starting-11 tonight, including players such as Rescaldani, Pablo Pérez and Portillo, who aren’t usually in the initial line-up, along with Camacho who was back in midfield.  The ‘Malaguistas’ were determined to take control of the game from the start, moving well around the pitch and trying to attack Keylor Navas’ goal area, one of this season’s revelations.
 
Joaquín Caparrós’ team played an intense game, and weren’t going to sit back during the last match of the season with important points up for grabs.  The rival didn’t make it easy for Málaga CF, as the Blue and Whites wanted to end the season with a good performance in front of their home crowd.
 
Málaga’s first promising chance to score came in the 23rd minute.  A good display from Samuel assisted Rescaldani in front of the box, who launched a powerful shot at goal, forcing Keylor Navas to fly to the right to prevent the Blue and Whites from opening the scoring.  Amrabat was next to try his luck in minute 27 following a great pass from Pablo Pérez.  The Dutch-born striker arrived at the edge of the area, but his low shot at the target was deflected by Navas.
 
Just before half-time, Bernd Schuster’s men had another chance to get on the score board.  An impressive cross from Pablo Pérez on the right wing assisted Rescaldani in his attempt to head the ball into the back of the net, but again Keylor Navas prevented a goal.  The score was 0-0 as the referee blew the half-time whistle, although the Blue and Whites had created the most goal chances and maintained a determined attack, against a somewhat lacklustre performance from the rival.
 
The second half kicked off in much the same way as the first.  Málaga again took the initiative and generated scoring opportunities.  A shot from Darder in front of the box led to a corner, and another save from Levante keeper, Keylor Navas.
 
Schuster’s men continued to outperform the rival, with a goal the only thing missing from their performance.  A shot from Portillo sailed over the crossbar and a Pablo Pérez set piece was saved by the Levante goalkeeper. 
 
However things were about to change for the home side.  In minute 69, Málaga showed what they were made of.  A fantastic display by Eliseu on the right, coupled with a quick reaction from Samu, ended in the perfect chance for Rescaldani to get a goal, but again Keylor Navas put paid to a Blue and Whites’ goal.  Not for long though, as Portillo found clearance to slam the ball into the back of the net, crashing through the rival defence, to put the ‘Malaguistas’ in the lead by a well-deserved 1-0.
 
The Blue and Whites continued to take the reins of the game, causing a lot of trouble for Levante.  Opportunities arose for Amrabat, Juanmi and Pawlowski to increase the lead, but all were intercepted by Navas, Levante’s star player.  Caparrós’ side were left with 10 men as Diop was sent off with a double yellow card.
 
Casado made his debut at La Rosaleda in tonight’s last match of the season, coming on in minute 82 in place of Pablo Pérez.  A lovely part of tonight’s game took place in the 89th minute.  The referee awarded a penalty to Málaga following a foul on Juanmi.  Amrabat took the ball and passed it to his teammate, Casado to take, however the ball went way above the target.
 
Tonight’s victory was a fitting end to the season, following last weekend’s game at the Vicente Calderón when the Blue and Whites mathematically sealed their place in the First Division next year.

Match stats

MÁLAGA CF: Willy, Eliseu, Weligton, Camacho, Antunes, Sergi Darder, Pablo Pérez (Casado, min 82), Samuel (min. 69), Portillo, Amrabat and Rescaldani (Juanmi, min. 75).
LEVANTE UD: Keylor Navas, Nagore, D. Navarro, Vyntra, Juanfran, Pedro Ríos (min. El Zhar, min. 69), Sissoko, Diop, Sergio (Xumetra, min. 64), Casadesús and Barral (Ángel, min. 46).

GOAL:
1-0: Portillo (min. 59).

REFEREE: Prieto Iglesias, ‘Colegio Navarro’.  Yellow cards were shown to: Diop (min. 28 and min. 79) and Navarro (min. 56).  Málaga CF coach, Bernd Schuster was sent off (min. 66).

INFORMATION: 38th and final First Division BBVA League game of the season, held at La Rosaleda in front of 19,526 fans.

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