Malaga defeated 10-man Elche 1-0 on Friday for their first win in nine away games this season in the Spanish league, easing the pressure on coach Bernd Schuster.
Malaga bounced back from their elimination from the Copa del Rey earlier this week to Osasuna with a much-needed victory that provisionally lifted them to the middle of the standings.
Midfielder Ignacio Camacho headed in Sergio “Duda” Barbosa’s free-kick six minutes in to score what proved to be the winner.
Elche kept most of the action to Malaga’s final third, but failed to create clear chances. They were reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute when defender Damian Suarez earned his second booking for a studs-first tackle on Camacho.
“I’m happy for the goal, but happier for the three points that we really needed away from home,” Camacho said. “We have to see the positive side to what happened in the Copa [del Rey]. We’re out, but now we need to look to move up the league table.”
It was promoted Elche’s third-straight loss.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid lead the league by three points ahead of Real Madrid.
Atletico was to host Levante yesterday before Barcelona’s schedule has them visiting Getafe today and Madrid play at Valencia.
Other matches in round 17 are: Villarreal play Sevilla, Real Betis take on Almeria, Granada go up against Real Sociedad, Espanyol play Valladolid, Athletic Bilbao face Rayo Vallecano and Celta Vigo face Osasuna.