Los Che laboured to fifth straight win to move up to third
The Andalucians raced into a shock lead after just 10 minutes when Rondon got on the end of Apono's cross to stab home the opener from close range. Malaga's advantage was immediately stripped away five minutes later when Martin Demichelis was given a straight red card after a foul on Juan Mata inside the box. Mata stepped up and converted the spot-kick confidently to level proceedings.
Despite going a man down, it was Manuel Pellegrini's side who looked the more dangerous but Rondon spurned two quick-fire chances to bag a sensational first half hat-trick when he was twice denied by Guaita in a one-on-one.
However, on 34 minutes Rondon would not miss the opportunity to put his team back in front as he once again struck from close range after connecting with Duda's free-kick delivery.
Valencia coach Unai Emery made two changes at the break, sending on Roberto Soldado and Ever Banega and it paid off almost instantly. Seven minutes into the restart, Pablo Hernandez's diagonal through ball into the box found Soldado, who did brilliantly to side-foot his shot into the opposite corner of the goal to make it 2-2.
Malaga's evening got worse when Helder Rosario was sent off for dissent towards the linesman. And he was made to pay for the dismissal as just two minutes later, Los Che took the lead. A corner was poorly cleared by goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, and Banega smashed the loose ball into the bottom corner from outside the box.
Valencia, however, failed to kill off the contest despite their possession and extra personnel. And it was a lightning counter-attack that allowed Los Boquerones to level the game at 3-3 with just 13 minutes left on the clock. Recio fed a through ball to Julio Baptista, who shook off two defenders before rifling a piledriver past the oustretched Guaita.
The home side finally picked up the pace again in the final 10 minutes as jeers began to rain down from the stands. Aritz Aduriz missed two excellent chances but in the 89th minute, he finally found the back of the net to seal a pulsating 4-3 victory, smashing the ball home from close range after a pin-point cutback from Soldado.
The win lifted Valencia to third in the standings, one point ahead of Villarreal who are only in action in Sunday's late kick-off against Real Sociedad. Malaga, despite their valiant effort, could find themselves back in the relegation zone by the end of the latest round of fixtures.