Had an ongoing feud with Ronaldo all evening and was only bettered once from a strike by the Portuguese, which he could have done nothing about.
Was walking on eggshells for most of the match after picking up an early yellow card for a foul on Bale, but, although the Welshman got the better of him at times, he showed his recovery pace more than once to get back into position to make a challenge.
Guilty of rushing out of position at centre-back to try to nick the ball away from the feet of the Madrid attackers. Had a half-chance on the edge of the box with a volley but sliced his attempt wide.
Covering play was excellent as he was always aware of midfield runners into the box, which allowed him to get the ball first and ease pressure. Struggled with the ball at his feet, though.
Was extremely fortunate not to give a penalty away early on as he clearly hacked the foot of Bale away inside the area. Also failed to close down Ronaldo and show him down the outside for the opening goal.
Screened the Malaga defence effectively and didn't allow Isco any time whatsoever to turn and pick out passes. Made some important interceptions and even tested Diego Lopez with a shot from 20 yards.
Continually switched positions with Amrabat but enjoyed his best time deployed on the right, showing a capable turn of pace as well as some neat passes as he cut inside.
Set-piece delivery caused Madrid problems at times but it just wasn't consistent enough throughout the game. Attitude was excellent and was always in the face of the Madrid players. The only thing missing was his choice of pass in the final third.
Attempted to get out and help out his right-back during the attack for the first goal but, like his team-mate, didn't do enough to stop Ronaldo getting a clear shot away. However, he recovered well and showed composure on the ball throughout the game.
Was by far Malaga's brightest player and caused Madrid problems with his drifting runs all across the frontline. Tested Diego Lopez with a couple of stinging strikes and always looked likely to make something happen.
R. Santa Cruz
Held the ball up well and played some nice passes out to the channels for Amrabat and Samu, but never looked like posing much of a threat himself. Never utilised his aerial ability or got off a meaningful shot at goal.
Had a pretty quiet evening for the most part but, when called into action, he was dependable between the sticks. Claimed a few crosses out of the air and denied Amrabat's two strikes from the edge of the box.
Was very, very lucky not to see red after a horribly late challenge on Duda which saw him rake his studs down the knee of the Malaga captain. Still managed to defend well, though, and headed plenty of balls out of the box.
Probably counted himself a little lucky not to give a penalty away in the first half as he looked to clip the shins of Duda inside the box. Showed plenty of attacking ambition and managed to make some penetrative runs in attack.
Looked slightly out-of-sorts as he struggled with the tempo of the Malaga attackers at times. Showed class when in possession though, and catalysed a few attacks with bursting runs from the back.
Surprisingly struggled to deal with the pacey threat of Amrabat when the Moroccan stretched his legs down the right-hand side. Still typically got up and down the left wing, always looking for the pass on the overlap beyond Ronaldo.
Compared to his usual sterling performances his match tonight was rather stale. Naturally showed class when on the ball but wasn't as eager to make runs through the middle and spread play to the wings with diagonal passes.
Had a very quiet opening hour by his standards as he didn't get on the ball to pull the strings. However, his veteran head in the middle of the park was incredibly important in the latter stages as Malaga probed for the equaliser.
Passed up a glorious opportunity to score against his former club when he went through on goal after a pass from Di Maria, only to blaze a strike over. Was neat in his passing as always but didn't make an impact, and was substituted after an hour.
Never really looked like getting on the scoresheet but looked more than capable of picking out an incisive pass for a team-mate to score. Had a couple of speculative shots but the real strength of his play was his running, which was direct and powerful.
Looked hungry for goals right from the get-go and continued his superb record against Malaga by opening the scoring with an emphatic finish into the corner. Was the only Madrid player to get a shot on target, which displays his worth to his team.
Made a few decent runs in behind the defenders but failed to pose much of a threat to goal during his time on the park. Had to be withdrawn just 32 minutes in due to injury after a collision with Ronaldo.