The fourth consecutive season in Liga SmartBank and the seventh under the Málaga CF name. Following the departure of Sergio Pellicer, young Asturian coach José Alberto López and a number of new signings gave hope to the Malaguista fans of completing a good campaign close to the playoff positions.
From the outset, the team showed two very different sides. At Martiricos, for practically the entire first round, the team was aggressive and winning with the momentum of La Rosaleda. They won seven matches and drew two, obtaining 23 out of a possible 27 points in the first nine home games, the last two consecutively against strong rivals in the division such as Tenerife and Las Palmas. A solid team with the best stats at home in the five main European leagues, hovering around the top of the table midway through the competition.
However, the Blue and Whites were unable to secure wins away from home in the first few months of the domestic competition. Indeed, Málaga’s first away win came in the Copa del Rey in December in Tafalla against Peña Sport (0-3). In the subsequent round of the Cup, MCF was eliminated in Madrid against Rayo Majadahonda of Primera RFEF (1-0).
The dynamic, both in terms of results and sensations, was becoming increasingly negative. League matchday 24 was decisive for the dismissal of José Alberto, when Málaga suffered a big loss at home against Ibiza (0-5). The experienced coach from Vitoria, Natxo González, took command of the team, but despite some good matches, the lack of attacking punch and points (one win in 10 games) led to another change in the dugout after a defeat against Girona in Montilivi (1-0). There was a cushion above the drop zone, but a rapid turnaround was needed.
Sporting Director, Manolo Gaspar opted for an icon of Malaguismo as a player. Spanish-Argentinean Pablo Adrián Guede finally fulfilled the dream of coaching 'his' Málaga. The 'Guede Effect' was immediate, bringing hope and energy to a complex situation and achieving four out of six points in his first two games against Real Valladolid (2-2) and Leganés (0-3) on matchdays 35 and 36 of the competition. However, there was only a small gap between the teams in relegation positions and it took mishaps from direct rivals to remain in the division. The team’s place was mathematically secured in a bittersweet Málaga-Burgos (0-1) on the penultimate matchday, with over 25,000 fans in the stands at La Rosaleda.
Málaga CF ended the season with 45 points and in 18th place in LaLiga SmartBank. Brandon Thomas, with nine goals, was the team’s top scorer during the 21/22 season.