The departure of Muñiz forced Fernando Sanz to look for a trainer capable of getting the most out of a season, important for a club deep in economic restraints. To be able to stay in the division, the man in charge backed a club man who, after managing Polideportivo Ejido and Granada 74, returned to the Martiricos: Antonio Tapia.
Not many expected what would happen, in what was possibly the best time in the history of Málaga as a ‘CF’ for its game and results. The many transfers in and out made things difficult for the ‘new’ team to gel, but with some of the old faces returning to La Rosaleda: Duda, Alberto and José Juan Luque, Miguel Angel, Manolo Gaspar, Nacho and Fernando; and two bets for the future who came on loan: Adrian and Lolo.
Following an uncertain start without a single goal scored and only one point from the first four games, came some consecutive triumphs: at home against Valladolid and Getafe, and away in Huelva and Sevilla, pushed the team up the table, breaking the club’s points record in the first round of the League (31 points). Málaga flirted with a ‘Champions place’ for several weeks, but in the end could not manage to secure a passport to Europe, even though the team managed to stay up mathematically with 12 weeks to go before the end of the competition. At the end of the season, Tapia’s men managed to win 55 points and tied eighth place, the best position achieved in First Division in the history of this young entity. In front of them, were only six ‘greats’ (Barça, Madrid, Sevilla, Atlético, Villarreal and Valencia) and Deportivo de la Coruña.
Recently promoted, the malaguista squad played many great games of football, and was close to scoring a record number of goals in the top division that managed to excite their loyal malaguista fans right to the end. Never had a recently promoted side managed, against all odds, to play such fine football.
Nabil Baha and Apoño, with 9 goals apiece, shared the blue and white top goal-scorers slot. The malagueño midfielder scored 7 of his 9 goals from the penalty spot.