Metz came out on top in the meeting of Ligue 1's basement dwellers on Saturday night, a 3-1 victory over RC Lens at the Stade Saint-Symphorien allowing them to maintain some hope of staying up.
Malouda and West Ham United loanee Modibo Maïga netted either side of a Bouna Sarr penalty for Albert Cartier's side, with substitute Aristote Madiani pulling one back for Lens late on. It was a second straight win for Metz, who had previously gone 18 matches without a victory and had not registered back-to-back wins since September.
Les Grenats are still eight points from safety with only six games still to play, their task still looks close to impossible, but at least they have some reason to hope.
Lens on the other-hand looked doomed to drop down to Ligue 2, they are now rock-bottom, 11 points from safety.
The veteran Malouda was in the mood and tested Rudy Riou early on before opening the scoring in the 13th minute. The former Lyon and Chelsea star converted in acrobatic fashion at the back post after being left unmarked when the ball broke to him following good work by Ferjani Sassi. It was a first goal since December for Malouda, and there was no looking back for Metz.
The final outcome was put beyond doubt when Maïga beat the outrushing Riou to a short back-pass by Jean-Philippe Gbamin, rounding the goalkeeper and converting into an empty net for his eighth of the season.
Metz will need their former Premier League players to be at their best if they are going to have any chance of survival this season.