Malaga finished comfortable winners at home to Real Betis on Saturday evening, but an early red card for the visitors had an influence.
After edging the opening exchanges of play, Real Betis were reduced to 10 men on 10 minutes, when Casto felled the on-rushing Eliseu as he ran through into the area.
Adjudged to have been the last man, the ‘keeper was shown a straight red, whilst Joaquin Sanchez converted the spot-kick for 1-0 for his 50th career goal in La Liga.
The balance of play switched to the home side for their man advantage and they were unlucky not to double their lead midway through the half when Ignacio Camacho’s header struck the bar. However, it was 2-0 soon after, when Javier Saviola finished neatly in the area after a clever one-two with Portillo. Replays suggested Portillo was offside when receiving the first pass.
The Costa del Sol side put the result beyond doubt with a second-half blitz half an hour in, with Antonio Amaya putting through his own net and Isco then dinking one over Adrian for goals three and four inside two minutes of play.