MADRID, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Struggling Malaga lost 1-0 at Espanyol in La Liga on Saturday giving new coach Manuel Pellegrini a lot to think about as he watched from the stands.
The Chilean former Villarreal and Real Madrid boss was presented in Malaga on Friday following the sacking of Jesualdo Ferreira earlier in the week.
Malaga’s B team coach Rafa Gil was left in charge of the team for the trip to Barcelona, with Pellegrini to take the reins on Sunday, but there was little either could have done about Javi Marquez’s stunning 30-metre strike after only two minutes.
Espanyol maintained their 100 percent home record, despite being on the rack for most of the second half, and climbed to fourth with 18 points from 10 matches, five short of Real Madrid.
Malaga notched their seventh match without a win in all competitions and remained 18th with seven points.
Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten leaders host neighbours Atletico Madrid in the city derby at the Bernabeu on Sunday, while second-placed Barcelona visit Getafe.
Earlier, Real Sociedad striker Joseba Llorente scored after seven minutes to give the promoted Basque club a 1-0 home win over Racing Santander that pushed them up to sixth with 16 points.
Writing by Mark Elkington; Editing by Dave Thompson; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com