The hosts started the game well and created a good chance early on as Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins crossed for Ruben Garcia but youngster could only direct his header straight at Willy Caballero.
Caballero was called upon again on the half-hour mark when Martins beat the offside trap but the former Newcastle United and Inter Milan man could only shoot his effort straight at the Argentine keeper.
However, Caballero could do nothing about the opening goal as Jose Barkero dispatched a penalty after Sergio Sanchez had fouled Martins in the box.
Malaga were slow to start but they reacted in a positive manner following the goal and a foul on Julio Baptista by Chrisitan Lele saw Isco score from the penalty spot.
The scoreline was level at the half-time interval but Malaga’s much talked about playmaker scored his second of the game shortly after, a goal that would ultimately win the game for the Andalusians and move them closer to Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, at the Balaidos, Celta Vigo had to wait until the 22nd minute until they really tested Valencia keeper Vicente Guaita and even then Fabio Orellana’s effort was blocked before Iago Aspas came close but was denied by Adil Rami’s stern defending.
Valencia on the back of a 1-1 draw with Barcelona looked a different side to that game but they came close to taking the lead before the break when Ever Banega’s cross was headed just over by Tino Costa.
After the half-time interval, David Albelda came close, before Jonas also narrowly missed, sending his effort just wide.
However, chances missed would soon turn into chances taken when Nelson Valdes thumped home to score the winning goal.
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