With nothing to but pride to play for, and with the home crowd at La Rosaleda baying for blood, it is perhaps no surprise that Deportivo Alaves enjoyed their trip to the Costa del Sol, running out 3-0 winners under the sunshine in the Sunday lunchtime kickoff.
The visitors had a lead as early as the third minute when Manu Garcia stroked the ball into the bottom corner with a left-footed strike from Víctor Lopez’s cross, past keeper Andres Prieto, making only his second league start of the campaign.
Alaves continued to create chances through forwards John Guidetti and Ermedin Demirovic and with the partisan home fans on their team’s back, Malaga started to sink under the pressure.
Their only real chance of the first half came through defender Ignasi Miquel in the 35th minute; his header was saved in the top corner by Pacheco.
Alaves could have doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time through Manu García but his shot from the left was saved low by Prieto.
The introduction of Borja Baston in place of Brown Ideye at the break brought about Malaga’s best period of the game:the hosts carved out opportunities for Adrian, Maxime Lestienne and Diego Rolan within seven minutes of the restart.
The visitors, though, were able to hold off and grabbed their second in the 68th minute when Demirovic latched onto Ibai Gomez’s through ball on a fast break and placed his shot into the bottom left corner.
Gomez himself made it a quickfire double just two minutes later when he fired the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.
With time running out, Malaga went long in search of a consolation goal. But barring two late headers from Baston and Diego Gonzalez, the visitors were the ones who looked most likely to get the next goal.
It didn’t come, however, and the three were enough to inflict Malaga’s second biggest defeat of the season, denting the Costa side’s chances of avoiding finishing bottom.