Malaga came into the game on the back of three straight wins over Rayo Vallecano, Atletico Madrid and Levante, and they quickly took the lead against RC Celta.
A corner from the right was cleared as far as Roberto Rosales, who curled a cross into the area in the eighth minute. Celta keeper Ruben Blanco came off his line but was beaten to the ball by Brazilian striker Charles, who drilled a header into the net, for his seventh goal of the season.
Fabian Orellana fluffed a good chance for Celta and they were made to pay at another corner from the right in the 27th minute. Juanpi swung the ball into the area and defender Raul Albentosa nodded in from close range for his first goal in the Liga BBVA this season.
A wonderful sweeping move almost put Celta back in the game before halftime. Orellana’s cross was headed back towards the penalty spot for Daniel Wass, but with only the keeper to beat the Dane crashed his volley against the crossbar.
Malaga were brimming with confidence in the second half, and Moroccan striker Nourredine Amrabat missed two gilt-edged chances soon after the re-start firing over the bar, and then pulling a shot wide only a minute later.
Penalty and red card
In the 63rd minute Javi Gracia’s side were awarded a penalty when Blanco brought down Amrabat in the area as he dived to cut out a low cross, and the visiting keeper was shown a red card.
Sergio Alvarez came on in his place and his first action was to save Amrabat’s weak spotkick, guessing right to keep his side’s hopes up, though they failed to cause the hosts too many problems with a man less.