Malaga surge forward despite troubles

Malaga's financial woes off the pitch have done little to effect the club's performance on it as they record another win.

    Malaga surge forward despite troubles
    Malaga head coach Manuel Pellegrini (L) has had to leave his signings late due to financial worries [GETTY]

    Malaga beat Zaragoza 1-0 thanks to Ignacio Camacho's second-half header on Saturday, keeping the Costa del Sol side undefeated in the Spanish league despite a tumultuous offseason and the exit of several key players.

    Right back Eliseu Pereira capped his strong overall performance by directing a corner kick to Camacho, who headed in from the near post in the 56th minute.

    "I think we had the clearest scoring chances,'' said Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini.

    "Eliseu had two or three clear ones and, as we expected, the match was decided on a set piece because the game lacked rhythm.''

    "Eliseu had two or three clear ones and, as we expected, the match was decided on a set piece because the game lacked rhythm"

    Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini

    Also, Celta Vigo downed Osasuna 2-0, while Getafe drew 1-1 at Deportivo La Coruna.

    Argentine forward Javier Saviola debuted for Malaga at the start of the second half after joining the club from Benfica. Malaga also brought in Roque Santa Cruz from Manchester City and American center back Oguchi Onyewu from Sporting Lisbon late on Friday just before the transfer window closed.

    The late reinforcements came after Malaga made it through the Champions League playoff round without several players it sold in the summer, including Santi Cazorla to Arsenal.

    So far, the short-handed Malaga has not shown any signs of strain, displaying maximum efficiency by turning three goals into two wins and a draw in the domestic competition.

    "We haven't had physical or mental problems,'' said Pellegrini.

    "I was worried our effort might slip, but the players showed that they have remained focused.''

    'Headless chickens'

    Celta scored twice after halftime to give the newly promoted team their first win in Spain's top flight after five seasons in the second division. 

    Striker Iago Aspas headed Augusto Fernandez's cross into the far corner of the net to open for Celta in the 69th, and Mario Bermejo sealed the win at Balaidos stadium in stoppage time after some woeful defending by Osasuna.

    Osasuna, who have lost all three matches of the season so far, were limited to Joseba Llorente's header which crashed off the crossbar in the 11th.

    Osasuna coach Jose Mendilibar was at a loss to explain his team's shabby play.

    "There was only one team on the pitch today, we were a shadow of our rival from the 15th minute on,'' said Mendilibar.

    "We spent a lot of time running around like headless chickens.''

    At Riazor stadium, Ivan 'Riki' Sanchez netted for Deportivo six minutes in with a blast from outside the area. The striker took a short pass from a free kick, used one touch to open an angle around the crowded area, and unleashed a left-footed shot just inside the upright.

    Abdelaziz Barrada levelled for Getafe in the 26th when the Moroccan midfielder collected a through pass and rifled by goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia, scoring a goal reminiscent to last round's winner against Real Madrid.

    Later Saturday, Real Sociedad visit Mallorca.

    On Sunday, Barcelona host Valencia while Madrid looks for their first win in league play against Granada. Also, Rayo Vallecano and Valladolid will try to extend their perfect starts against Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, respectively, and Espanyol visits Levante.

    Originally scheduled for Monday, Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid has been postponed due to international matches.



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