No goals, one point, and two unconvincing, performances marked the resumption of the 2019-2020 season. Nervous and non threatening at Fuenlabrada brought a 1-0 defeat after a defensively suicidal soft goal. Much improved creatively with a combination of bad luck and bad finishing made for a 0-0 home finish with a Malaga side that look odds on for relegation. The overall feeling was of relief to have football back after the three month coronavirus restrictions. The new order gave no room for passion, no fans, no hand shakes, and no close contact celebrations, small hardships compared to lost lives.
An eerily empty Heliodoro Stadium in Santa Cruz was the stage for line up changes following the away defeat. Alberto was dropped in favour of a belated debut for January signing Lluis Lopez who slotted in well to the heart of the defence. American international Shaq Moore (right) and Daniel Asure (left) added width to the stale midfield. Dani Gomez couldn´t convert from an early hard won Moore cross. Lopez dropped a deep ball out to Joselu who fared little better.
Tenerife should have seized the second half after Bare was sent off for two bookings just before the break but it didn´t work out that way. On the hour Tenerife made a double swap, Nahuel for Luis Perez, and Javi Muñoz for Lasure, but still that vital spark wasn´t there for the home side. Dani Gomez was always the best goal hope, his work rate was up to his usual level but his final touch was short of the quality that had made him such a great player before the league lay off. Joselu has been a let down since his initial goal burst when joining in January. Bermejo has struggled to turn back the clock to his pre injury contributions, it all added up to an easier half than 10 man Malaga should have expected.
Forgotten striker Mierez took over from a frustrated Gomez with 10 minutes left, he could have dropped a big hint for a new contract, his header was just off target and no threat to Munir in goal. So a point was all that Tenerife could salvage from the game. Notorious slow starters, Tenerife are clearly going to need a few more of the remaining nine games to find their best form. Standing in 13th place there´s a lot of work to do to ensure they don´t slide into relegation worries. Minds should be sharpened for players like Mierez and joselu whose contracts run out when this season expires. Luis Milla showed plenty of fight in both games, thats going to impress the clutch of Primera clubs that want to swoop for him before the next season gets under way in mid August. The frustration was more intense than usual for the fans, hopefully a proposed July return to the stadium for around a third of the 23,000 capacity will add some much needed vocal encouragement.