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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Malaga Test Pleases Round

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

Steve Round believes Everton’s pre-season trip to Malaga was a perfect test on the eve of the new season.

The Blues lost 1-0 to the Costa del Sol club with Brazilian defender Weligton heading the winner deep into the second half.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side finished fourth in La Liga last season and showed their undoubted quality with some sustained spells of possession and some superb movement.

That meant a hard night’s work for the Blues off the ball and Round explained that had been exactly what they were after.

He said: “It was a very good work, a tough workout. They are a really good team and that is why we took the game so close to the season starting.

“The physicality of the game meant we were able to get a lot of work into some of the players. Obviously we were disappointed with the result, we thought we did enough  be able to get a draw, but take nothing away from Malaga, whatever the problems they may have at the moment, they still have some very good players.

“They kept the ball really well and it something we can learn from. We had spells where we kept the ball really well as well and created one or two good opportunities.

“And if you are going away in Europe then you need to seize control of the ball more often and have more possession and create one or two chances and nick that away goal. That is why we are disappointed as we did not get the goal.”

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini missed the game with a groin strain which will also prevent him playing for Belgium this week.

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