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Spanish Primera BBVA

La Rosaleda (ATT 21,000) 15th September 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Velasco Carballo

Malaga Malaga vs Levante Levante

Malaga 3

J Saviola (27)
Joaquin (59)
S Sanchez (S/O 88)
F Portillo (90+3)


Levante 1

Michel (46)

Malaga stay unbeaten

Last Updated: 15/09/12 5:42pm

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Javier Saviola: Put Malaga ahead

Javier Saviola: Put Malaga ahead

Malaga maintained their unbeaten start to the Primera Division season with a comfortable win over Levante thanks to goals from Javier Saviola, Joaquin and Francisco Portillo.

Saviola deservedly put the hosts in front after 26 minutes with a simple finish from Isco's fine through ball, but Levante were level a minute after half-time when Michel thundered in from outside the area.

However, Malaga's lead was restored 12 minutes later when Saviola's cute pass found Joaquin free inside the area and his calm finish gave Gustavo Munua no chance.

And, despite losing Sergio Sanchez to a second yellow card three minutes from time, Portillo sealed all three points with a controlled volley in the last action of the match.

Saviola was making his first start for the Andalusians since joining from Benfica just before the close of the transfer window, and his intelligent running was too much for the Levante defence to handle in a first half in which they were completely dominated.

The home fans were screaming for a penalty on 18 minutes when Sergio Ballesteros got on the wrong side of Saviola and appeared to clip the former Barcelona man's heels as he prepared to shoot, but referee Velasco Carballo was unmoved.

However, Malaga's incessant pressure soon told when David Navarro failed to cut out Isco's nicely weighted pass and Saviola strolled through to finish low past Munua.

Sanchez was then awarded his first booking for going down too easily when he and Juanlu tangled inside the area, and despite continuing to control proceedings, the hosts' failure to turn possession into chances looked like it could cost them when Levante equalised with their only shot on target.

Sanchez again thought he had been fouled just outside the Levante box, but the visitors broke as play continued and Michel carried the ball almost half the length of the pitch before firing in his first goal for the club.

Malaga's response was swift and they were back in front before the hour mark when Saviola slipped a gorgeous ball through for Joaquin to sweep home his first goal of the campaign.

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini then withdrew both goalscorers with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League clash with Zenit St Petersburg.

And despite Sanchez's dismissal, it was the hosts who scored again late on to wrap up all three points as Portillo's volley from Duda's cross bounced high into the corner of the net in stoppage time.

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Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Barcelona 38 94
2 Real Madrid 38 92
3 Atletico Madrid 38 78
4 Valencia 38 77
5 Sevilla 38 76
6 Villarreal 38 60
7 Athletic Bilbao 38 55
8 Celta Vigo 38 51
9 Malaga 38 50
10 Espanyol 38 49
11 Rayo Vallecano 38 49
12 Real Sociedad 38 46
13 Elche 38 41
14 Levante 38 37
15 Getafe 38 37
16 Deportivo La Coruna 38 35
17 Granada 38 35
18 Eibar 38 35
19 Almeria 38 32
20 Cordoba 38 20