MALAGA travel to Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday in fourth place after a famous 3-2 triumph against Real Madrid at La Rosaleda. Substitute Roque Santa Cruz struck twice in three second-half minutes to add to Isco’s opener as Los Blanquiazules recorded a first victory over the Spanish giants since 1983.
Madrid boss Jose Mourinho caused a surprise before kick-off by dropping goalkeeper Iker Casillas, yet replacement Antonio Adan had little to do early on as Cristiano Ronaldo saw his deflected free-kick brilliantly saved by Malaga stopper Willy Caballero.
The former Manchester United man then missed a gilt-edged opportunity to put the visitors ahead when he shot wide from an Angel Di Maria cross, with the latter guilty of failing to make the most of a good chance minutes later as his lob over Caballero was cleared by the hosts’ defence.
Mourinho’s men were made to pay for their wastefulness as Malaga made a rousing start to the second period, Isco finding the bottom corner of the net on 48 minutes after being fed by Joaquin Sanchez.
It sparked a purple patch for Manuel Pellegrini’s side as Francisco Portillo was denied by Adan before Joaquin and Javier Saviola both saw efforts fly narrowly wide.
However, Madrid drew level after 66 minutes when the unfortunate Sergio Sanchez deflected the ball into his own goal after a scramble in the Malaga box.
Nonetheless, the home team restored their advantage seven minutes later when Santa Cruz, on the pitch less than 10 minutes, fired home from close range after Joaquin had seen his clever back heel blocked.
It got worse for the champions on 76 minutes when the Paraguayan international got his second with a low shot inside the near post after he had been fed by Joaquin.
Karim Benzema pulled one back with eight minutes remaining after Ignacio Camacho had carelessly lost possession, but Madrid could not find an equaliser as they slumped to a fourth loss of the season.