Malaga head coach Manuel Pellegrini has declared his side’s victory in their maiden Champions League group match as ‘a party for the city’.
While fellow Champions League debutants Montpellier lost their opening home match in the continental competition, Malaga was full of smiling faces as Pellegrini’s side smashed Zenit St Petersburg 3-0.
Pellegrini was thrilled to have paid back Malaga’s supporters with a famous victory for the club from the south coast of Spain.
“La Rosaleda (Malaga’s stadium) had the award that they deserved because they awarded the team as well with their support,” Pellegrini said.
“The team are always trying to win but not only to score a goal.
“So it was a party for the city of Malaga and for me as well.”
Isco scored twice for Malaga with his two goals split by a smart finish from Javier Saviola.
In France, Montpellier, who were the only other club to make their Champions League group stage debut on Tuesday, led for seven minutes at their home stadium before Arsenal fought back to win 2-1.
Despite the defeat, Montpellier head coach Rene Girard found some positives, particularly in how his team maintained their intensity in the second half.
“We can’t be happy when you lose but there is still satisfaction,” Girard said.
“This is a good start to our season, we put a good team in a bad situation, one of the best in Europe.
“It was a very good second half.
“It means that we are mentally and physically there.
“So there is a lot of satisfaction, despite the defeat.”