Málaga stumbles against Levante after a controversial and unfortunate first half (3-0)
Levante UD won the match thanks to three consecutive goals in the first half when Málaga CF was left with 10 men as Willy Caballero was sent off in minute 30 for alleged handball outside the area.
The match started with three changes to Málaga Club de Fútbol’s line-up from the previous match against Getafe: Maresca, Isco and Monreal substituted Duda, Baptista and Eliseu, respectively. In the first few minutes, Levante came out fighting but without causing too many dangers near Willy Caballero’s goal. But in minute 10, even though Málaga was controlling the ball, it was Levante’s Barkero who, after a great series of moves, managed to score in minute 13.
With the scoreboard not in Málaga’s favour, the team created more chances but Levante took advantage of the gaps. In one of them, and in the most controversial part of the game, Willy Caballero came out to clear a ball that had been moved into thanks to a long shot by Koné, when the referee, Muñiz Fernández, declared that the Málaga goalkeeper had touched the goal with his hand outside of the area and sent him off. At the same time, Juanlu took advantage of the ball being bounced back in and knocked it past Rubén, who was standing in for Caballero. It was minute 30 and Levante had 2-0 on the scoreboard and one man more on the pitch.
History repeated itself a few minutes later when Koné bypassed Rubén with a long ball, managing to establish the 3-0 result, a result which despite all their efforts, the malagusistas were unable to close the gap on throughout the rest of the game.
At the beginning of the second half, Pellegrini made two further changes, substituting Seba Fernández and Rondón for Van Nistelrooy and Cazorla. On the pitch, Málaga took all the initiative but without managing to secure the necessary attacks against the Levante defence which was robust and which was waiting for more counter-attack opportunities.
And so the game was played-out for the rest of the second half, where Isco was responsible for the majority of the better passes and where Seba Fernández tried repeatedly to overcome Munúa.
There were several missed opportunities for both teams in the final 15 minutes of the match, which ended 3-0 for Levante. The result of this 8th BBVA League match leaves Málaga with 13 points and in Europa League positions.