Feb 16, 2013 at 5pm UK at ​Estadio La Rosaleda
Malaga
1-0
Athletic Bilbao
Saviola (18')
Camacho (87'), Lugano (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Iraola (42'), Laporte (61')

Live Commentary: Malaga 1-0 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

Malaga players celebrate their opening goal against Anderlecht on December 4, 2012
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of Saturday La Liga clash at the Estadio La Rosaleda as Malaga record a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Malaga welcomed Athletic Bilbao on Saturday knowing that three points would consolidate their position in fourth spot in the table.

They took the lead after 18 minutes when Javier Saviola finished off a sweeping move, with that score still standing at the interval.

Both sides had chances in the second period, but neither could find the back of the net as Bilbao's struggles continued.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
4.31pmAfternoon all! Our La Liga coverage for the weekend gets underway from Malaga as Athletic Bilbao travel to La Rosaleda. Both sides are in desperate need of the three points, but for very different reasons. Malaga enter the match having taken eight points from their last six matches, but Bilbao have taken just five from the same period.

4.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, three of the last five matches have ended in a draw. Bilbao were victorious when the pair met at San Mames in February 2012, but as mentioned, Malaga were 1-0 winners in the last league match at this stadium in September 2011. Recent history certainly points towards a close game.

4.37pmMalaga regained fourth position in the table last weekend with victory over Levante, while they have lost just one of their last five matches in all competitions. They sit two points ahead of Valencia and Rayo Vallecano, who sit fifth and sixth respectively, with Real Sociedad and Real Betis also just three points behind. It is just about as close as you could imagine at this stage of the season.

4.40pmTEAMS:

MALAGA: Caballero; Lugano, Weligton, Antunes, Sanchez; Baptista, Camacho, Isco, Portillo; Saviola, Piazon

BILBAO: Raul; Iraola, Aurtenetxe, Laporte, Gurpegi; Susaeta, Iturraspe, Herrera; Aduriz, De Marcos, Ibai


4.43pmSo there we have it. The home side surprisingly name Chelsea's on-loan striker Lucas Piazon in attack alongside Javier Saviola, while Julio Baptista continues in midfield. Bilbao also make changes with Raul starting between the sticks, with Gurpegi also handed a rare start in defence. Fernando Llorente - who will join Juventus in the summer - is on the bench.

4.46pmMalaga’s home form has been fairly solid this season with six wins from their 12 matches, drawing three and losing three. It has been their away form that has impressed, however, with five wins from 11 matches, the third-best record in the division. Although financial issues will prevent them from playing Champions League football next season, they will still want to finish in fourth.

4.49pmBilbao, meanwhile, continue to struggle this season. They have won just one of their last five matches, although that came with a 3-0 success over Atletico Madrid. That result prompted suggestions that they could push up the table, but they were thumped 4-0 at home by Espanyol last time out. They are not really in relegation trouble, but it has been a disappointing season.

4.52pmThey have struggled on their home patch this season with five defeats from their 12 matches, taking 17 points in the process. Perhaps not too surprisingly, they have also struggled on the road with just two wins from 11 matches. They need the likes of Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera to step forward if they are to enjoy a decent end to the campaign.

4.55pmBilbao must have overcome the best defence in La Liga to take something from the match this evening. Malaga have conceded just 21 goals in 23 matches, keeping nine clean sheets in the process. That is in contrast to Bilbao, who have conceded 46, the second-worst record in the division. Down the other end Malaga have scored 36, while Bilbao have scored 29.

4.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. I just cannot see any possible way how Malaga do not win this football match. I am backing a 3-1 win for the home side.

0 minJust a quick word on the early start in La Liga this afternoon. Celta Vigo remain in deep relegation trouble after losing 3-1 to Getafe, who were also in desperate need of the points. A reminder that we have three back-to-back live commentaries in La Liga this evening. Be sure to remain with us for the action. The away side get us underway.

2 minMalaga are looking for the three points to consolidate their place in fourth position in the table, but Bilbao are in need of the points to push away from the bottom three. Both of these sides had troubled summers, but the home side have certainly performed better on the pitch. Lively start from the away side as Aduriz dances into the box, but Lugano is across to clear.

4 minAnother half-chance comes to the away side as Gurpegi meets a corner from Susaeta, but the Spaniard can only head over the crossbar. Another set piece arrives moments later, but Caballero is on hand to collect. All the signs point to an open game of football on this warm evening in Malaga as Portillo strikes wide from outside the box.

6 minSlightly sloppy start to this match from the home side with Baptista and Camacho both guilty of handing possession away in midfield. It appears that Bilbao have been sent out to press the Malaga midfield in their own half, with that plan working thus far. Still no real chance for either side, however, with just about six minutes on the clock.

8 minThe referee is called into action to deal with a couple of dangerous challenges, with Iraola taking a knock from Lugano. However, it does appear that the defender will indeed be fit to continue following a spell of treatment. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. It must be a glorious place to play your football when things are going well.

10 minIt remains end-to-end with both teams prepared to commit numbers to each attack, but neither side has really tested the opposing goalkeeper inside the opening 10 minutes of football. Baptista almost changes that as the Brazilian collects possession before turning outside the box, but he cannot fashion a shooting opportunity with Laporte on hand to clear.

12 minA reminder that Malaga in Champions League action in the coming week when they face Porto in the first leg of their last-16 clash. Not too many players rested this evening, however. Bilbao continue to create decent openings in and around the penalty area, but they just cannot find an effort on goal. Meanwhile, the home supporters continue to raise the tempo inside the stadium.

14 minHalf-chance for the away side as Herrera picks up possession in a wide area before whipping a searching cross into the box, but it is just too long for Aduriz. Slightly scrappy period to the match at the moment with both teams guilty of giving away a host of fouls. However, the referee has kept his cards in his pocket thus far.

16 minCouple of half-chances for the home side to fashion a shooting opportunity following poor defending from Bilbao, but they just cannot find the elusive final pass. We are still waiting for the first real chance of the match, but there has been a decent tempo. Meanwhile, there is a strange exchange between the referee and linesman. Not too sure what happened there!

18 minCHANCE! Just about the best chance of the match comes to the home side as Antunes, who is making his home debut, strikes a powerful effort from outside the box, but Raul tips over. Another chance comes from the resulting corner, but Weligton can only head over the crossbar. Suddenly the match has burst into life.

18 minGOAL! Malaga 1-0 Athletic Bilbao (Saviola)

19 minThe opening goal eventually does arrive as Piazon finds Saviola on the edge of the penalty area, the Argentine steadies himself before thumping his effort into the bottom corner for his seventh of the season. First blood to the home side.

21 minYou just get the feeling that Bilbao had to score first to take something from the match. Not only are they up against the best defensive team in the division, they are not in a good run of form. Bilbao are really struggling at the moment as Malaga continue to utterly dominate possession in the opposing half.

23 minA reminder that three points for the home side would consolidate fourth position in the table. In fairness to Bilbao, they have started to pass the ball in the last few moments, but they do not look capable of worrying this stern Malaga defence. Just about half of the first period remaining, with the home side leading courtesy of that Saviola strike.

25 minIraola attempts to go alone for the away side as he drives down the right before whipping a dangerous cross into the box towards Ibai Gomez, but Caballero just about does enough to claim under pressure. Make no mistake about it, they are very much in this match. But you just get the feeling that they simply have to score the next goal.

27 minCHANCE! Another fine chance comes to the home side as Saviola finds Baptista in the penalty area, the Brazilian takes one touch before thumping his effort towards goal, but Raul gets down well to make the save. Bilbao attempt to break with De Marcos, but the Spaniard cannot evade the challenge of Antunes.

29 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the past few minutes with neither team taking too much care in possession of the ball. It is just about as comfortable as Malaga could have hoped for at this stage of the match. The home supporters, meanwhile, are having a real party as they continue to sing their hearts out.

31 minBilbao have a real problem here as Gurpegi signals to the bench that he cannot continue. It appears that the Spaniard picked up a knock in the early stages of the match. His replacement is San Jose, who was a surprise non-starter this afternoon. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

33 minMalaga continue to pass and probe outside the penalty area with Portillo and Isco both involved, but they are missing the guile of Joaquin, who is on the bench this afternoon. Slight concern for Susaeta and Antunes as both players collide in the Malaga box, but after a period of treatment the duo are deemed fit to continue. Luckily it looked worse than it was.

35 minDecent football from the away side in the last few moments as Susaeta collects a pass from Herrera before driving in the box, but the linesman's flag stops the Spaniard in his tracks. Bilbao just have not got likes of De Marcos and Ibai into this match thus far. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining in Malaga.

37 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Baptista combines with Isco outside the penalty area before striking an effort towards the bottom corner, but Raul is across to make the save. Iraola threatens down the other end with a mazy run into the box, but Caballero denies De Marcos from close range.

39 minCHANCE! Best spell of the match for Bilbao as the away side have two strikes from close range in quick succession, but Caballero denies Aduriz and De Marcos with two fine saves. Wonderful goalkeeping from the Argentine. However, that has certainly given Bilbao confidence.

41 minAnother opening comes to Aduriz as the striker ghosts unmarked into the penalty area, but the Spaniard can only clip wide of the post. Malaga come close down the other end with a counter attack involving Saviola and Piazon, but neither can create an attempt on goal. End-to-end period in the match.

43 minNot too much to get excited about in terms of chances in the latter stages of the half, but Bilbao have certainly improved in the last five or so minutes. But for the heroics of Caballero, they would be level in this match. You just get the feeling that they need to score during this strong period of pressure.

45 minStrong end to the first period from the home side as Baptista drives to the edge of the box, but Iraola brings the Brazilian to the ground, picking up a card for his troubles. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of football at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Malaga 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

5.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the half to an end with the home side leading 1-0 courtesy of a strike from Saviola after 18 minutes. In fairness to Bilbao, they did improve in the latter stages of the half, but have thus far been unable to find the back of the net.

5.51pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. Bilbao have had more of the possession with 56%, but they have had five shots to Malaga's seven. There has not been a great deal between the two teams, but the quality of the play in the final third has been the difference.

5.55pmWhat about both benches for this evening? Malaga have a host of attacking options on the sidelines with the likes of Joaquin, Santa Cruz and Morales to call upon. However, Bilbao also have options with Llorente, Igor Martinez and Ramalho. Could we possibly see Llorente introduced? I doubt it.

5.59pmJust a reminder of what we have to come this evening. Following the completion of this match we have action from Granada against Barcelona, before Osasuna welcome Real Zaragoza in the final match of the day. Be sure to remain with us for the action and you will not miss a kick.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. No changes for either side at the interval which is not a surprise at this stage of proceedings. As it stands, Malaga would consolidate their position in fourth, while Bilbao remain in 15th. The home side get the half underway.

48 minMalaga start the second period as they ended the first, in complete control. Again it’s good work from Baptista as the Brazilian collects possession out wide before driving a low cross into the box, but Iraola is across to clear at the vital moment. No real tempo to this half in the opening couple of minutes as both feel their way back into the match.

51 minBilbao attempt to break down the other end as Susaeta drives past two challenges before finding De Marcos, but the winger simply cannot keep his feet in the box, with Weligton across to clear at the vital moment. Ibai Gomez comes close moments later with a low drive from outside the box, but it whistles past the post.

54 minNot too much to get excited about in the early stages of this half with neither side taking too much care in possession of the ball. Bilbao are certainly offering more of a threat with De Marcos and Ibai Gomez running behind the Malaga defence, but thus far Lugano and Weligton have dealt with the danger on each occasion.

57 minCHANCE! Just about the best chance of the match for the away side as Ibai Gomez drives into the penalty area before striking a low effort towards the bottom corner, but Caballero gets down to make a wonderful save. He really has been in sensational form this season.

60 minMeanwhile, the home side make two changes as Saviola and Baptista are replaced by Santa Cruz and Toulalan. Maybe with one eye on the Champions League fixture next week? In truth, the second period was in need of some fresh personnel with not a great deal happening in terms of attacking chances for either side.

63 min: End-to-end period of the match at the moment as Piazon comes close for the home side with an effort from close range, before Ibai Gomez tests the palms of Caballero once more down the other end. Not too much to report in this second period in terms of chances, there is something for Bilbao if they can just raise their tempo.

66 minThis match almost has the feel of a pre-season fixture at the moment as both teams continue to labour and exchange spells of possession. You get the feeling that both would be happy if the score remained as it stands, which is quite a strange situation. Little over 25 minutes of football to play and Malaga have possession in the Bilbao half.

69 minAgain it's good work from Piazon as the Chelsea youngster evades the challenge of two defenders before driving towards the edge of the box, but Iraola is on hand to bring the striker to the ground. The resulting free kick is taken by Isco, but it never had enough power or direction to really worry the goalkeeper. That just about sums up this second period.

72 minThe pressure continues from the home side as Isco combines with Lugano before whipping a low cross into the area, but Raul is on hand to make a fine save. The Bilbao goalkeeper has certainly not let anyone down with his performance. Not too much from the away side in terms of an attacking threat with around 20 minutes of football remaining.

75 minThe away supporters are the ones making most of the noise as we enter the latter stages of this match, but their team has just not threatened in the second period. Malaga come close once more as Isco takes a free kick from outside the penalty area, but it whistles past the post. If anyone is going to score the next goal, then it appears that it will be the home side.

78 minA half-chance does arrive for the away side as Aduriz crafts outside the penalty area before finding Herrera, the Spaniard takes one touch before firing an effort towards the top corner, but it was always moving away from the goal. It just does not appear that another goal will come in the final 10 minutes of this La Liga encounter. But Bilbao always have a chance a 1-0.

81 minHalf-chance for the home side as Portillo picks up possession before thumping an effort from outside the box, but it was always moving wide of the target. Bilbao come close with a similar effort down the other end following good work from De Marcos, but Caballero is comfortable in dealing with the danger.

83 minGood work from Bilbao as they force a couple of corners in quick succession, but the first is headed clear by Weligton before Caballero comes a long way to claim the second. It has not been vintage Malaga this evening, but they will not mind one jot if they pick up all three points. They make their final change as Piazon is replaced by Joaquin.

85 minMalaga create a couple of half-chances of their own as Portillo ghosts into the penalty area before striking towards goal, but Raul makes the save. The resulting corner allows Joaquin to fire a dangerous cross towards Santa Cruz, but the powerful striker cannot make proper contact. Little over five minutes of normal time remaining.

88 minDecent pressure from the away side in the last few moments as Ibai collects possession before finding Aduriz on the edge of the box, the Spaniard takes one touch before firing an effort towards goal, but it just moved wide of the post. Meanwhile, the latter is caught offside moments later as the minutes continue to tick on.

90 min+1In truth, this second period has been extremely uneventful. The first half had a decent tempo, but neither side has really created any real chances in the second 45. But there is still time for that to change. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time and we are into the first of those.

90 min+3Bilbao continue to force the issue in the latter stages with a couple of corners in quick succession, but Herrera can only head wide of the target. The away side have impressed in possession this evening, but the reality is that it will be another defeat for the Basque outfit. Well, unless they can create something in the final 30 seconds of this match.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Malaga 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

6.50pmSo there we have it. Saviola scores the only goal of the match as Malaga pick up a 1-0 win over Bilbao. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and remain with us for Granada against Barcelona. Until then!

Malaga players celebrate their opening goal against Anderlecht on December 4, 2012
Read Next:
Result: Malaga comeback breaks Eibar hearts
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid11003033
2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4EibarEibar11001013
5Leganes11001013
6Levante11001013
7Valencia11001013
8Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
9GironaGirona10102201
10Espanyol10101101
11Sevilla10101101
12Athletic Bilbao10100001
13Getafe10100001
14Celta Vigo100123-10
15AlavesAlaves100101-10
16Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
17Malaga100101-10
18Villarreal100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30