Malaga must turn their focus on La Liga

MADRID – After the shock of Tuesday’s cruel Champions League exit, Malaga face a La Liga clash at home to relegation-battling Osasuna on Saturday that could be crucial to their chances of qualifying for next season’s edition of Europe’s elite club competition.
Andres Fernandez.
Andres Fernandez.

Saturday
Valladolid     vs    Getafe    16:00
Levante     vs     Deportivo    18:00
Espanyol     vs     Valencia    20:00
Malaga     vs     Osasuna    22:00
   
Sunday

Rayo     vs     R Sociedad    12:00
Atletico     vs     Granada    17:00
R Zaragoza     vs     Barcelona    19:00
Athletic     vs     Real Madrid    21:00
Monday
Mallorca     vs     Celta Vigo    21:00

MADRID – After the shock of Tuesday’s cruel Champions League exit, Malaga face a La Liga clash at home to relegation-battling Osasuna on Saturday that could be crucial to their chances of qualifying for next season’s edition of Europe’s elite club competition.

The Qatar-owned club, making their Champions League debut, are still fuming after Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund struck twice in added time to seal a 3-2 victory and their passage to the last four.

Several Dortmund players were in offside positions in the buildup to the winning goal and Malaga have said they will lodge a formal complaint with governing body UEFA about the performance of the match officials.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini and his players must put that to one side for the visit of Osasuna as they seek to recapture fourth spot from Real Sociedad, who beat them 4-2 in San Sebastian last weekend and play at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

“Being within touching distance of winning the tie and then conceding that third goal they must be hurting,” Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez told a news conference on Wednesday.

“But we need to ignore all that and be focused and switched on so that we can get a vital three points,” he added.

With eight games remaining, Malaga are sixth on 47 points, two behind Valencia, who play at resurgent Espanyol on Saturday, and four adrift of Sociedad.

Real Betis also have 47 points in seventh and play city rivals Sevilla on Friday, while Osasuna are five points above the relegation places in 15th.

Even if Malaga qualify for the Champions League or the Europa League, they may not be able to take up their place after earning a UEFA ban from continental competition due to delays in payments to creditors.

The Costa del Sol club are appealing the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with a decision expected in coming weeks.

 

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