Malaga are now off the bottom of the table after a spirited comeback against Athletic Bilbao saw them claim their first point of the season on Saturday evening.
Having seen their side lose five out of the first five games, fans inside La Rosaleda were fearing the worst when Luis Hernández’s scrappy challenge gifted the visitors a penalty within the first five minutes. Veteran forward Aritz Aduriz had no trouble converting to give his side the lead.
However, with 34 minutes on the clock, Malaga had an unlikely equaliser courtesy of new signing Diego Rolán, making his first home start, who collected the ball on the left wing and expertly placed a shot into the top right-hand corner.
Rolán, who was the only bright spark on a dismal night at the Mestalla in midweek, again stepped up to plate and could well be an inspired signing by the Blue and Whites, albeit only on a season-long loan.
Malaga went into the break with spirits high, but that was shattered just five minutes into the second half, when the lively Iñaki Williams put the visitors ahead once more. Williams met Iker Muniain’s well-placed through ball and he smashed it in at Roberto’s near post, putting the Basque side ahead once again.
The situation took a further turn for the worse for Malaga when midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic was dismissed after a second yellow in the 52nd minute; a decision compounded in the 70th minute when Williams scored again for Bilbao. Malaga’s sloppy set piece inside their own half was intercepted by Muniain who linked with Williams once again who this time slotted the ball into the bottom right of Roberto’s goal.
Despite the two-goal deficit, the game was not over. Malaga centre-half Paul Baysse converted substitute Juanpi’s set piece making it 3-2 with 10 minutes to play.
The momentum stayed with Athletic, however, and the home side had to absorb a lot of pressure as the clock started to tick down. But with just minutes remaining, Malaga got the chance they had been craving when Borja Bastón headed into the path of Rolán, who converted to make scores level and complete an unlikely comeback.
La Rosaleda was rocking, and with three goals on the scoreboard and a new striker making his mark, there was a feeling around the ground that this result could be a platform for a surge away from relegation trouble.