El Centrocampista


Manuel Pelligrini and his Malaga side must be sick to the back teeth of teams from Madrid.

Tonight sees the Andalusians host Real Madrid in an attempt to overturn a 3-2 deficit in the Copa del Rey, a game which ends a seven day period that has seem them play three games against teams from the Spanish capital.

First came Wednesday’s trip to the Bernabeu for the first-leg of their cup tie, then Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone brought his new team to La Rosaleda on Saturday to play out a frustrating goalless draw.

To make matters worse, Malaga also played another Madrid team, Getafe twice in the final weeks of 2011.

Madrid, Madrid and more Madrid.

Pelligrini’s side will go into tonight’s clash with the league leaders with some amount of confidence however – despite trailing 3-2 after a scintillating first leg, they did fly into a two-goal lead at the Bernabeu.

The Chilean almost got revenge over his former employers as they struck twice from set pieces to stun a packed stadium, until a rapid double from Real Madrid courtesy of Khedira and Higuain drew them level before Benzema sealed the turnaround late on.

It is still very much all to play for however.

The home side will fancy their chances but they must display some degree of caution – it is a dangerous game to have to attack Madrid and seldom proves fruitful.

If Malaga are too aggressive going for a goal, Madrid will just pick them off.

The game comes just four days after a disappointing stalemate against Atletico, which also saw the debut of new Atleti manager Simeone.

The encounter gave a good insight into the Argentine’s tactical mindset as his side set out not to concede at all costs, although he has to be grateful to Thibaut Courtois between the sticks, who did his best to frustrate the home fans.

Malaga’s start to the New Year has been good, but it could have been so much better. It must have frustrated Pellegrini given his focus on defence that his side let a two goal lead slip at the Bernabeu, regardless of the opposition.

A draw against Atletico was also disappointing given their form of late, but it has to be said that Courtois played a big part in keeping Malaga at bay.

Tonight will be an uphill struggle but it is not impossible for Malaga to go through however, in truth it’s probably unlikely.

With Barcelona to come if they were to progress perhaps the coach is already looking to three points against Sporting Gijon on the 15th as his priority.

Sitting sixth in the league and with the places for Champions League qualification just five points away, 2012 looks like it could be a great year for the club.

Whatever tonight’s outcome, fans of Malaga will be happy to see the back of the Madrid teams, for a while at least…


  1. Ray Hudson

    10 January, 2012 at 14:10

    Very good profile of the upcoming match Arch,enjoyable read – you juiced the game up nicely,well done amigo!

  2. AmedoX

    10 January, 2012 at 17:56

    Just passing by…nice article!

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