Sebastian Fernandez sealed a fine second-half show from Malaga with the final goal in a 3-1 away win over Racing Santander which moved Manuel Pellegrini's men up to fifth place in La Liga.
Fernandez's 89th-minute effort added to an opener from Alarcon Isco and an own goal from Alvaro Gonzalez while Racing - who are now bottom of the table on goal difference - replied through Manuel Arana.
The home side had started well, with Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero punching away a pair of Pedro Munitis set-pieces before Fernandez had the first chance for the visitors in the 16th minute.
Jose Rondon missed a fine opening to put Malaga ahead in the 25th minute when he screwed a shot wide from six yards, and they came even closer on 39 minutes when Joris Mathijsen's close-range header was tipped over the bar by Antonio Tono.
Malaga finally made their breakthrough three minutes into the second half when Isco swept home from six yards after Rondon had set him up with a short pass from inside the box.
Papakouli Diop fired high for the home side but Malaga were in control with Tono tipping an Isco shot round the post before the visitors extended their lead on 65 minutes when Gonzalez deflected a Mathijsen header into his own net.
Racing responded well, pulling a goal back five minutes later through Arana's low drive from the edge of the box, and Adrian Gonzalez came close to an equaliser when his shot was tipped round the post by Caballero.
But the visitors held firm and secured the points with two minutes remaining when substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy crossed from the right and Fernandez lashed a left-footed shot into the top corner of the net.