Malaga recover to exit relegation zone
Malaga climbed out of the relegation zone after fighting back from a goal down to defeat fellow strugglers Sporting Gijon 2-1 at El Molinon.
Sporting, who started the day one place and one point behind third-bottom Malaga, took the lead through a Diego Castro penalty in the 42nd minute to boost hopes of a first win in 12 league and cup matches.
However, their joy was short-lived as Malaga drew level on the stroke of half-time through Weligton before the visitors claimed all three points thanks to Apono's spot-kick just before the hour.
The victory sees Malaga climb above Almeria, who face third-placed Villarreal tomorrow night, and Levante, who lost 2-1 at Barcelona this evening.
There was little to separate the two sides in the opening period and there was precious little goalmouth incident aside from the two goals just before the interval.
The deadlock was broken when Patrick Mtiliga was penalised for handling inside the area and Castro stepped up to drive the resulting spot-kick into the top right-hand corner of the net past Francesc Arnau.
That would have been a major blow to confidence for a Malaga side that had suffered five defeats in their previous six competitive outings, but Manuel Pellegrini's men needed just three minutes to get back on terms.
Duda curled in a free-kick from the left and Weligton got to the ball ahead of the Sporting defence to glance a shot past Ivan Cuellar. Buoyed by going into the break with honours even, Malaga needed just 14 minutes of the second half to net what would prove to be the winning goal.
Cuellar's foul on Eliseu Pereira inside the box earned Malaga the chance and Apono fired his penalty down the centre of the goal to earn the Andalusian side a vital win and leave Sporting coach Manolo Preciado under more pressure.