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August 11, 2012 8:00 PM BST
 
74′ Weligton
 

Malaga 1-0 Everton: Weligton header ends Toffees pre-season with a defeat

David Moyes' side endured a narrow one-goal loss to a Spanish team that finished in fourth place in the last La Liga campaign ahead of their opener against Manchester United

By Sion Cleaver

Weligton, Malaga (Getty Images)
Everton ended their pre-season campaign with a defeat at Malaga, with Weligton's header proving to be enough for the Spanish outfit to emerge victorious.

Both sides enjoyed equal amounts of possession for the majority of the clash, but the Brazilian's second-half goal ensured the La Liga side ended the game on top.

David Moyes fielded a strong Toffees side in Spain, with John Heitinga, Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic all featuring in the Merseyside club's last outing before returning to Premier League action.

Malaga enjoyed the first chance of the game, a promising Francisco Portillo run and shot provoking a mammoth save from Tim Howard before the 22-year-old came just as close minutes later.

The home side built upon their early chances by sustaining a high-level of attack against an Everton side that failed to start the match with any forward momentum.

Ignacio Monreal came close to breaking the deadlock when his run down the left wing saw him break free and drive a short directly into the hands of Howard on the Toffees' goal-line.

Everton replied with their most positive move of the first half, clever positioning from Jelavic up front allowing the striker to fire a thunderous effort over the bar from distance.

Seba Fernandez almost fired Malaga in front just after the restart but his sharp, low drive was met by a fantastic save from Howard.

The Toffees broke free to what looked like it would surely be the opening goal on the hour mark, but Jelavic's forward nod to Naismith was flagged offside by the linesman.

Everton enjoyed a good spell of possession after that opportunity, with Osman producing the best chance with a 65th minute drive that provoked a scrappy clearance from the Malaga defence.

It was Malaga who broke the deadlock, though, when the Spanish side were awarded a free-kick after 73 minutes. A Diego Buonanotte volley from the free-kick resulted in Weligton leaping to connect with a powerful header that flew past Howard.

Martin Demichelis almost doubled the home side's lead just minutes later but his glancing header proved ineffective.

The Spaniards enjoyed possession for the dying moments of the game, but their attacking prowess had burnt out for the most part.

Nevertheless, the home side successfully saw the game out with minimal risk to grant them a pre-season triumph over an Everton side that will welcome Manchester United to Goodison Park on August 20.


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