Malaga was held 1-1 by a battling 10-man Real Sociedad in the Spanish League on Sunday, which prevented it from taking advantage of Champions League qualification rival Valencia's 4-0 thrashing at Espanyol earlier in the day.
It looked to be going Malaga's way when Isco put it ahead after 19 minutes with a fine shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner and Real Sociedad's Mikel Gonzalez was then dismissed before the break after receiving a second yellow card.
However, Xabi Prieto brought Real Sociedad level after 48 minutes with an excellent volley from the edge of the area and although Malaga pressed forward for the winner, it could not put the ball in the back of the net.
A disappointing Valencia crashed at Espanyol, which kept its own European hopes alive with its first win in almost a month.
Espanyol 4 (Gomez 26, Verdu 30, Vazquez 58, Uche 80) bt Valencia 0; Malaga 1 (Isco 19) drew with Real Sociedad 1 (Prieto 48); Real Betis 1 (Ruben Castro 34) bt Osasuna 0; Villarreal 1 (Perez 46) drew with Racing Santander 1 (Acosta 90+4); Real Zaragoza 1 (Dujmovic 6) bt Granada 0; Athletic Bilbao 1 (Llorente 13) bt Real Mallorca 0; Rayo Vallecano 0 lost to Atletico Madrid 1 (Falcao 64). — AFP