La Liga

Malaga dealt blow for top-four bid

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Malaga's Champions League push suffered a blow as they were held 1-1 at home by lowly Real Zaragoza.

The hosts fell behind to an early Helder Postiga strike and although Alarcon Isco levelled from the penalty spot 10 minutes later, Malaga were far from their best with Zaragoza enjoying the majority of the game's chances.

However, some of Zaragoza's joy at claiming a tough point away from home was dampened by the last-minute dismissal of Jose Mari for a second bookable offence.

Postiga opened the scoring with the first clear chance for either side in the 13th minute, finding the bottom corner of the net from Manuel Fernandez's cross.

However, Malaga were soon level as Javier Paredes handled Joaquin Sanchez's corner, Isco scoring with a spot-kick placed into the bottom left-hand corner.

Zaragoza continued to pose a strong threat as Fernandez fired narrowly wide from close range moments later.

Paco Montanes got up to head a corner goalwards in the 39th minute, but Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero held it easily.

Jesus Gamez saw his shot blocked by Zaragoza's Roberto Jimenez before Montanes warmed the palms of Caballero once more, and then in first-half injury time Nacho Camacho saw a header deflected wide from a corner.

Zaragoza had their best chance to reclaim the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Antonio Apono's free-kick struck a post and then Jose Movilla sent the rebound wide.

They kept the pressure on with Caballero sending Victor Rodriguez's long-range effort wide for a corner moments later.

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Zaragoza finished the stronger of the two sides as well. Postiga flashed a shot wide from close range from Apono's 85th-minute free-kick, while Caballero did well to push Rodri Lozano's late effort around the post.

However, their afternoon was spoilt in the second minute of injury time when Mari brought down Julio Baptista to earn a second yellow card.

Elsewhere, Sevilla's resurgence under Unai Emery continued as they won 2-1 against Rayo Vallecano, their fourth consecutive home win, thanks to goals from Ivan Rakitic and Alvaro Negredo.

Negredo missed a host of chances as Sevilla dominated the first period, but they were eventually gifted a half-time lead moments before the break. Ruben Martinez rushed from his goal to clear but only succeeded in presenting the ball to Rakitic who chipped delicately into an empty net from 40 yards.

Rayo were level though six minutes into the second half as Fernando Navarro pulled down Alejandro Dominguez as he tried to connect with Roberto Trashorras' corner and Dominguez himself stepped up to send the ball low past Beto.

However, Sevilla were back in front just three minutes later as wonderful play from Jesus Navas and Coke set up Negredo to backheel the ball in from close range for his third goal in as many games over the past six days.

Sevilla held on despite having Rakitic sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time.

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