Ten-man Getafe get job done
Getafe survived having Ciprian Marica sent off in the first half to beat Malaga 1-0 and record their first home win in five months.
Last Updated: 26/04/14 8:05pm
Getafe survived having Ciprian Marica sent off in the first half to beat Malaga 1-0 and record their first home win in five months, relegating Real Betis in the process.
The Romanian striker provided the assist for the only goal of the game, scored by Adrian Colunga, but then foolishly picked up a second caution before the break.
However, the visitors were unable to make the most of having an extra man and lost that advantage when their defender Marcos Angeleri was sent off with a quarter of an hour left.
The win sees Getafe briefly exit the relegation zone, moving three points ahead of Valladolid, who play Celta on Monday and also have an extra game in hand, against Real Madrid.
The result creates a 13-point gap between Getafe and Betis, condemning the Seville to the Segunda Division, little more than two hours before their home game with Real Sociedad.
Malaga meanwhile failed to mathematically secure their top flight status, and although they have little chance of falling into a relegation fight in the remainder of the season, coach Bernd Schuster will be questioned as to why his team were unable to see off one of the weakest teams in the league, who had to play a third of the game with one man down.
The Coliseum Alfonso Perez was more full than usual for the game, and the hosts were able to treat their fans to an early goal.
It arrived after only seven minutes. Colunga released Marica down the right and then made for the far post, sliding in to send his team-mate's cut-back into the bottom corner.
Marica could have doubled the lead midway through the first half had Angeleri not made a vital block, but the hosts almost lost their lead shortly after the half hour mark, Roque Santa Cruz striking the post.
Getafe looked vulnerable to an equalizer and then looked to have shot themselves in the foot.
Colunga blocked a Malaga free-kick and referee Cesar Muniz Fernandez ordered it to be taken again.
Marica ran away with the ball at his feet, but was shown a yellow card to go with an earlier booking and was sent off, to the bemusement of Getafe's players and supporters.
Getafe made it to half-time unscathed but could have been punished early in the second half, Juanmi heading over from inside the six-yard box.
The hosts were then grateful to Muniz Fernandez for not awarding Malaga a penalty on the hour mark, when Juanmi was felled in the area by Lisandro Lopez.
Getafe goalkeeper Julio Cesar produced a fine save to stop a distance shot from Dudua going in, but Malaga's hopes of getting an equalizer were then dealt a blow as Angeleri was given a second yellow card for blocking a pass with his hand.
Cosmin Contra's men then saw out the remainder of the game with few scares, to record their second win under the Romanian coach.