Valencia are a far cry from the team that qualified from the Champion’s League two seasons ago, and the home side came into this game only one point above the relegation zone.
Yet, they would be encouraged by their record against opponents Malaga, who have lost all of their last seven visits to the Mestalla. However, Juande Ramos’ side are unbeaten in their last three La Liga games, and would be looking to put their failures in Valencia behind them.
The Valencia faithful watched their team go behind yet again as the away side took the lead on two minutes. A deflected cross found its way to the youngster Pablo Fornals on the edge of the area and he struck a wonderful volley that beat Diego Alves and silenced what little atmosphere there was in the Mestalla.
But the home side responded brilliantly with seven minutes on the clock to ease the tension. Dani Parejo’s perfect free kick found Rodrigo and he superbly headed the ball into the far corner to equalise.
Importantly, the home team struck again after 34 minutes. Dani Parejo’s clever cutback took a slight deflection and fell kindly for Alvaro Medran in the box, the Spaniard kept his composure to stroke the ball home and give something for the Valencia fans to cheer.
At half-time, Valencia would have been pleased by their response after going behind early on, however, their counter-attacking style would no doubt invite further pressure from Malaga in the second half.
Malaga were piling the pressure onto Valencia and they found themselves with a free kick in a dangerous area. Juanpi took the set piece and managed to get the ball over the wall, only to find Alves in his way.
Cesare Prandelli’s team were desperately hanging on and after a Malaga corner, the ball would have found its way to an unmarked Villaneuva at the far post, if it weren’t for the heroics of Garay who somehow managed to clear the ball away.
The home side could not quite believe it as Malaga’s resilience rewarded them in the 93rd minute. En Nesiry held up a cross and laid the ball off for Fornals who emphatically struck the ball into the left corner to stun Valencia.
This point saw Prandelli’s side climb to 16th in the La Liga table, whereas Malaga stay in 11th, two points off the top half of the table.