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Malaga defeats Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at La Rosaleda, where it hadn't won since last December.
Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga defeated Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic Bilbao 1-0 in a match that would bring the most recent challenge between two of the most prestigious South American coaches.
Malaga returned to La Rosaleda looking to win at home after not being able to do so since they defeated Real Madrid in December, and against a team that is "always difficult" as explained by Malaga boss, Manuel Pellegrini.
The first 20 minutes of play were all for the home team that took over the ball and constantly attacked the visitor's area. The epitome came with the first goal, courtesy of Javier Saviola (18') with a right footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner, assisted by Lucas Piazon.
Athletic Bilbao reacted strongly and gained control of the match and was only impeded the draw by Willy Caballero's excellent display of goalkeeping, once again demonstrating why Malaga has the lowest number of received goals in La Liga.
The second half saw the entrance of Fernando Llorente after a prolonged absence from the starting lineup, and after his move to Juventus this summer was confirmed. With Llorente, Athletic saw several opportunities but Caballero quickly became the irrefutable man of the match, keeping his side safe.
It was a match worthy of two great strategists as are Pellegrini and Bielsa, with many opportunities for both sides. Malaga emerges victorious and will now turn its attention to the Champions League, where it will travel to Portugal to face Oporto for the first leg of the last 16 round.