Malaga v Everton
Everton’s pre-season schedule came to a close with a narrow defeat to Malaga.
The Toffees held their own for long periods against a technically very strong side who were fourth in La Liga last season.
But ultimately Weligton rose unmarked to head in a second-half free kick and ensure the Costa del Sol Trophy stayed in the area after which it’s named.
Malaga’s Portillo called Tim Howard into action with the game’s first chance after 11 minutes before scooping another effort over shortly afterwards.
That effort had arrived after a sustained period of possession for the Spaniards and that was to become a feature of the first half.
Another good move afforded left-back Ignacio Monreal space to drive into the area but his 17th minute drive was easy for Howard.
Everton’s closest chance came when Nikica Jelavic sent a long-range free kick a yard or so over the bar.
Malaga has most of the ball for the rest of the half without producing anything to worry the visitors’ goal.
Howard was down to gather Seba Fernandez’s sharp effort moments after the restart and the match soon took the same form as the first half.
Everton thought they had Seamus Coleman in round the back but the linesman’s flag went up and the assistant was waving again straight away when Jelavic nodded in Naismith’s flick.
Those forays represented something of a power shift and soon Osman was presented with a shooting chance though his 65th minute effort lacked power.
So it was actually marginally against the run of play when Weligton headed in Buonanotte’s harshly awarded free-kick on 73 minutes.
The impressive Isco whipped a curling shot just wide and Martin Demichelis could have extended the lead with a glancing header late on but in the end a single goal was enough.