Manuel Pellegrini was philosophical in surmising Malaga’s goalless draw at home to Atletico Madrid as ‘a point earned against a great team’.
The Anchovies played out a 0-0 result on Sunday evening against second place Atleti, which was enough for them to keep hold of fourth place.
“It was a fair result tonight. We were up against a team that focuses on a very intense, powerful style of play, and who are having a great season so far,” commented Pellegrini to reporters afterwards.
“We lacked finesse with the ball during the first half, however Demichelis had a great opportunity to score, as did Atletico’s Diego Costa.
“I think we were much better in the second half and dominated the match. Weligton had a chance to open the scoring with a fantastic header, and we had other shots at goal that didn’t end well.
“However, if a win isn’t on the cards, then a draw is always preferable than losing. A team always wants to win a home game, and I think a draw was fair for both teams tonight.”
The Chilean was asked of the team’s recent run of form, with this draw extending their winless streak in all competitions to three games.
“I don’t think the team is experiencing a bad patch, it’s tough to maintain such a high performance level all season.
“There are good and bad times throughout the year, but generally speaking, we’re doing well and are still in fourth place in the League, and still in the running for the Champions League next year.
“We’re working on improving our attacking form, which is difficult with some important players out through injury, but I hope we end the season performing as well as we have been throughout two thirds of the year.
“We’ve earned a point against a great team, who are having a very good season; currently in second place in the League and in the final of the Copa del Rey. There are a lot of quality players at Atletico.
“We went out there determined to win tonight, and were the better team in the second half. We managed not to lose to a team that is used to winning on the counter-attack.”