Victory for Málaga CF against CF Fuenlabrada at La Rosaleda on matchday 8 of LaLiga SmartBank. Half an hour into play, Peybernes scored the winning goal for the Blue and Whites.
It was a special day at Martiricos with no capacity restrictions, allowing the Malaguistas to cheer on their team from the outset. There was a large banner dedicated to Luis Muñoz in the Fondo Sur 1904 and the players wore t-shirts in support of the Blue and White number ‘8’ who has sustained serious injury.
On the pitch, José Alberto made changes on almost all lines. Javi Jiménez returned to the left in place of Cufré; Genaro and Ramón formed a double pivot replacing suspended Escassi and the aforementioned Luis Muñoz; whilst on the attack Roberto came on in place of Paulino.
MCF’s first dangerous arrival came in minute 3’. Jozabed set it up, Jiménez crossed and Roberto headed the ball very close to the left post. In minute 8 the fans gave Luis a standing ovation and at that moment, former Malaguista, Mula, tested Dani Martín's reflexes with a shot from the left to the post.
The pace of play was high, but it wasn’t until minute 25 when the Malaguistas made another dangerous approach. Brandon on the left served up a good ball for Genaro, who didn’t manage to find the target. Shortly afterwards, Málaga scored a stunning goal. Jozabed, following a corner cleared by the defence, crossed the ball from the left where an imperial Peybernes appeared at the far post to head the ball into the goal(1-0, 30’).
In minute 44, the Javi Jiménez-Brandon connection reappeared on the left wing, resulting in a cross from the Mallorca-born player without success. José Alberto's men maintained their narrow lead at half-time.
The tone of the match stayed pretty much the same in the second half. Málaga kept up the pace perfectly against a rival that barely made any approach to Dani Martín’s goal. The first Blue and White substitution came in 62’, with Paulino coming on in place of a fatigued Ramón. Málaga returned to the now classic 1-4-4-2 formation established by the coach at the start of the season.
Former Fuenlabrada player, Sekou Gassama made his Malaguista debut at La Rosaleda, joining the game in place of reserve team player Roberto in 74’. The ‘panther’ received a standing ovation from the crowd. Five minutes before the end, Ismael Gutiérrezmade his official debut, coming on to reinforce midfield in place of an applauded Kevin.
In 88’ Fuenlabrada had possibly the best opportunity to go level. Kante, with a cross shot, sent the ball very close to the right of the target. After eight minutes of stoppage time, during which MCF knew how to hold on to their lead, the referee blew the whistle, ensuring the three points stay at home.
Málaga CF remain unbeaten at La Rosaleda to claim the third victory of the competition at home and in LaLiga SmartBank. Vamos, Málaga!