Malaga’s new manager José González was hoping for a miracle as they welcomed Girona to the Rosaleda stadium this weekend.
The home side has been unable to score at home since November and unfortunately continued the streak today. Meanwhile, after an impressive week at home and away for Girona, the Catalans will feel they should have taken the three points today.
The Whites and Reds were the better side in the second half and played the last 10 minutes against only ten men.
Malaga came out swinging and seemed determined to break their run of form. Keko’s header in the 25th minute was the best opportunity of the half.
A great cross from Gonzalo “Chory” Castro was flicked on by another Malaga player and into the path of Keko. His header forced a great diving save from Girona goalkeeper Yassine Bounou (“Bono”).
After the break, Girona had a delicious opportunity from a free kick in the 65th minute. Álex Granell curved the ball beautifully into the six-yard box, Cristhian Stuani managed to get a head to it but sent it just over the bar. The Uruguayan striker has been crucial for Girona this season but today was not his day.
The sending off came with just over 10 minutes left on the clock. A late lunging tackle on Marc Muniesa saw Chory’s studs connect with the inside of the Spaniard’s left ankle. The referee had no choice but to give a second yellow and Chory left the pitch without complaint.
After the match, Girona coach Pablo Machín seems content to take a point. He commented, “It is always good to achieve a draw considering that we did not play our best match.”
On the other hand, the Malaga coach José González lamented, “We could have won in the Ipurúa, we could have won today…we have a difficult road ahead, but we are not going to stop competing.”
The next match for Malaga is a must-win, they will be facing fellow relegation contender Las Palmas at the Estadio Gran Canaria on Monday, February 5th. Girona also has a tough match-up at home, as they are facing Athletic Bilbao next Sunday.