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Villarreal go down to Malaga

Malaga: Malaga’s off-season spending spree continued to pay off as they beat the visiting Villarreal 2-1 on Monday in the Spanish league.

The win kept Malaga in fifth place and within three points of the Champions League positions. Jeremy Toulalan and Francisco ‘Isco’ Alarcon, both bought in this summer as part of the club’s euro 60 million overhaul, scored for Malaga.

Malaga controlled the flow of play at La Rosaleda stadium, while Villarreal sat back waiting to spring on the break.

Toulalan grabbed Malaga’s fifth-minute opener with a header at the near post from a corner by ex-Villarreal playmaker Santi Cazorla. Striker Marco Ruben equalised for Villarreal in the 16th by firing in Borja Valero’s through ball after Bruno Soriano had started a counterattack by recovering the ball just inside Malaga’s half.

The hosts went back in front for good in the 40th when a sliding Isco guided in a rebound after Diego Lopez did well to block a shot by Jose Rondon.