Malaga continued their unbeaten start to the new La Liga season with a 1-0 victory at Real Zaragoza thanks to Nacho Camacho's second-half header.
The hosts had the better of the play before the break but were made to rue a glaring miss by Ndri Romaric after just 18 minutes as he side-footed wide from 12 yards with the goal gaping. Despite continuing to have less of the ball, Malaga posed the greater threat after half-time and went ahead on 55 minutes when Camacho beat Roberto to Eliseu's cross to head home.
The visitors had already had a successful week after securing their passage to the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time with a goalless draw at Panathinaikos and those European exertions appeared to be having an effect as Zaragoza started the brighter.
Romaric had a fierce drive from 20 yards turned behind by Willy Caballero before the Ivorian really ought to have put his side ahead when Adam Pinter teed him up perfectly inside the area. However, the former Sevilla man leaned back as he tried to place his finish in the top corner and the ball slid wide.
Lukas Wilchez also shot straight at Caballero when well-positioned just before the half-hour mark but Malaga began to grow into the game as half-time approached and Eliseu twice fired wastefully wide after good build up play by Isco and Joaquin.
Manuel Pellegrini then brought on Javier Saviola for his Malaga debut at the interval and the Argentinian's pace and directness brought an extra edge to the Andalusians' play in the final third. Eliseu was denied by a smothering save by Roberto after a flowing move from the visitors, but from the resulting corner the Portuguese winger's cross was bundled in by Camacho.
Manolo Jimenez responded by making three quick substitutions, but as Zaragoza poured forward that only created more space for Malaga to break into, and Saviola nearly had his first goal for the Andalusians as he hit the outside of the post following Eliseu's parried effort. And despite winning a number of late free-kicks and corners, Zaragoza couldn't force Caballero into another save as they slipped to a second consecutive home defeat.