Some poor defending and a rough patch of form had free-spending Malaga disappointing fans early in La Liga's season, but they're now up to fifth place in the league, thanks to a 2-1 win over Villarreal on Monday. For the Yellow Submarine, it's yet another woeful loss in a season that's already one to forget. They have just 12 points in the league and are only two points above the drop zone.
Malaga battered Villarreal to start the match and could have had three goals by the time their first went in, just five minutes into the match. Defensive midfielder and sometimes defender Jeremy Toulalan was the unlikely scorer, heading in a corner kick from Santi Cazorla.
Villarreal quickly equalized with a fantastic goal of their own on the counter attack. Running onto a great through-ball by Borja Valero, Marco Ruben placed a shot into the back of the net from inside of the penalty area, equalizing for the Yellow Submarine.
The match was fairly even for the rest of the second half, with Malaga having the slight advantage in possession and chances. They would eventually capitalize in the 40th minute, with Isco scoring the goal. Jose Solomon Rondon created the opportunity with a shot from a narrow angle that was saved by Diego Lopez, but Isco pounced on the rebound and gave his team a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
While Malaga were the better side for most of the second half, the game was put into doubt late when Jeremy Toulalan was questionably sent off for picking up two yellow cards in the 75th minute. Villarreal had multiple chances to equalize, but Malaga held on for the three points as Wilfredo Caballero made a couple of very good saves down the stretch, with the best coming on Ruben in the 84th minute.
Malaga now sit three points out of the final Champions League spot, currently occupied by Levante.