Malaga go fourth after win at Espanyol
Two goals in two minutes from Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Martin Demichelis saw Malaga produce a fine second-half comeback to take all three points away at Espanyol. Philippe Coutinho had continued his great goalscoring form of late to put the hosts ahead with a clever free-kick midway through the first half.
The visitors may have considered themselves a bit hard done by to go in behind at the break after Enzo Maresca and Isco struck the post, but they made amends in the second half as Van Nistelrooy scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute 15 minutes from time. And two minutes Malaga grabbed the winner as Kiko Casilla could only parry Salomon Rondon's header into the path of Demichelis and he swept the ball into the net from close range.
Malaga had not won away from home for four months before claiming victory at Getafe in February and they are now unbeaten in three on the road after also picking up a valuable point away at Real Madrid last weekend. However, things did not begin brightly for the Andalusians as Rondon nearly put into his own net from Joan Verdu's corner before Kalu Uche's shot flashed just wide.
Stoppage swings balance
Espanyol deservedly took the lead on 23 minutes as Coutinho struck his free-kick low below the wall to leave Willy Caballero with no chance. The Argentinian goalkeeper then had to be replaced by former Espanyol favourite Carlos Kameni after injuring his hand and the lengthy stoppage appeared to disturb the home side's flow as Malaga came back into the game.
Maresca and Isco were both unfortunate as their efforts came back off the woodwork and Rondon also saw a header creep just wide. Van Nistelrooy did manage to find the net though with his first involvement after replacing Maresca as Isco's cross fell perfectly for the Dutch striker to prod home.
And the match was turned on its head moments later when, despite a fine save by Casilla, Demichelis was on hand to tap into the net. The visitors were denied a third in stoppage time as Casilla made another good stop from Isco, but Malaga still claimed their second win in four days to move level on points with Valencia in third.