Almeria, Malaga battle to standstill

Relegation rivals Almeria and Malaga shared a stalemate at the Juegos Mediterraneos on Saturday night.

Valencia vs Almeria

Neither side did enough to warrant victory as they instead claimed a point each to edge them away from the relegation places.

Almeria finished the night slightly better off, four points above the bottom three, with Malaga a place and a point behind in 17th.

The home side's lack of goals is a mounting concern though - they have scored just three times in their past seven league games.

Malaga did have the ball in the net after five minutes only for Sergio Sanchez to be correctly ruled offside.

The defender stretched a boot out to turn Duda's free-kick past onrushing Almeria goalkeeper Esteban, but he had timed his run too early.

At the other end away goalkeeper Willy Caballero made a brave block to deny Angel Trujillo's diving header at the back post.

It was an important intervention after it appeared the linesman had not spotted Trujillo sneaking slightly offside before meeting a Jose Antonio Verza free-kick which skidded across the six-yard box.

They were the best moments of an otherwise tight and tense first period that remained goalless.

The game drifted just past the hour before either goalkeeper was tested again and while it was Caballero who made another fine save, to deny Almeria defender Marco Torsiglieri, the offside flag was again up.

Despite that it was expert work from Caballero who would not have known Torsiglieri had strayed before athletically keeping out his towering header from eight yards.

There was a brief flashpoint on the touchline when Malaga substitute Sacha Iakovenko appeared to kick out at Sebastian Dubarbier, with Almeria coach Francisco Rodriguez quick to step in to calm any tension. Iakovenko was cautioned for a foul on Dubarbier soon after.

Almeria had a late chance but Trujillo hooked a volley over in injury time when Caballero failed to clear his lines with a punch under pressure.

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