Fresh from the international break, this was supposed to be the game bottom side Malaga got their season back on track. The home crowd backed their side from the first whistle on Sunday night but were ultimately left to rue what was another setback in a catastrophic run of results, as Leganés ran away comfortable 2-0 winners.
The home side, though, were boosted by the returns of Luis Hernández and Juankar in defence – injuries that had left head coach Míchel sweating over a potential defensive crisis.
The defence was immediately on the back foot, however, with Leganés -in decent form themselves- carving out the first opportunity of the game through former Liverpool man Nabil El Zhar. The midfielder unleashed an effort from outside the box, with Roberto needing to adjust his body quickly to prevent the ball escaping his grasp.
For the hosts, a curling shot with his instep from Diego Rolán rebounded back off the far post, after he was set through on goal in the inside-left position by an intricate through ball from Juankar.
Nordin Amrabat, returning to La Rosaleda after completing a loan move to the Madrid side from Watford in the summer, then had a glorious chance but a strong wrist from Roberto thwarted his dinked effort from inside the box.
The Moroccan was at it again after the break; but this time his shot from the corner of the area was easily gathered by the keeper.
However, Roberto’s resolve would soon be broken when Gabriel poked home on the goalline from what looked like an offside position to give his side the lead after 56 minutes. Malaga appealed that Gabriel was beyond the last man when Dimitris Siovas flicked on a freekick from the right, but the referee pointed back to the centre circle.
Malaga committed more men forward but in the process left gaping holes at the back, one which was exploited by Leganés’ Alexander Szymanowski who burst through to beat Roberto in the one-on-one.
Things went from bad to worse for Malaga when their captain, José Recio, received his second yellow card, ruling the midfielder out of his side’s next game – a trip to the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona.
The Costa del Sol side continue to prop up the league table with just a single point to their name.