Malaga's Champions League dream grew even more vivid with an impressive win over Milan at La Rosaleda.
A goal scoring hero against Anderlecht last time out, Eliseu started at left back for Los Boquerones, filling in for the inured Nacho Monreal.
Other absentees included Jeremy Toulalan and Sergio Sanchez.
Opponents Milan, twice winners of the tournament in the last decade, missed Nigel De Jong, Christian Abbiati and Robinho amongst others, and started in a highly unusual – for them – 3-4-3 formation.
Surprisingly given their tactical shift, the Rossoneri made an assured start, Stephan El Shaarawy just failing to make firm contact with a wicked Mattia De Sciglio delivery.
The hosts gradually began to exert control however, Isco drilling over with one shot and forcing Marco Amelia to dive to his right with another.
They then seemed certain to find a breakthrough when Francisco Portillo went down under pressure from Kevin Constant, but Joaquin slashed the resultant penalty over the bar! It was his second spot kick miss in five days.
Just as he did against Real Valladolid on Saturday though, the winger atoned by netting from open play. After a one-two with Manuel Iturra in the 64th minute, Joaquin slipped a low shot past Amelia which bounced off the left post and in.
The Italians threw on Alexandre Pato and went with four up front. They had a great double chance with five minutes to play, El Shaarawy having an effort parried by Willy Caballero and Philippe Mexes meeting a corner with a volley that flew across the face of goal.
Remarkably Manuel Pellegrini's side are top of Group C with a 100 per cent record, five points clear of their nearest challengers.
Malaga 1-0 Milan
Scorers: Joaquin 64 (Ma)
Malaga: Willy; Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Eliseu; Camacho, Iturra; Portillo (Onyewu 91), Joaquin (Duda 85), Isco; Saviola (Santa Cruz 70)
Milan: Amelia; Mexes, Bonera, Acerbi (Bojan 79); De Sciglio, Montolivo, Ambrosini, Constant (Pato 69); Emanuelson, Pazzini, El Shaarawy
Ref: Proenca (POR)
Missed penalty: Joaquin 44 (Ma)