Malaga boss happy with Atsu debut

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Malaga manager Javi Gracia has played down concerns that Christian Atsu picked up an injury during the victory over Getafe over the weekend.

Ghana midfielder Atsu made a dream debut for the La Liga outfit on Friday as he scored a goal in the 24th minute to help his team to a 3-0 victory at La Rosaleda Stadium.

The 24-year-old, who is on loan from English Premier League side Chelsea, was substituted at half-time, leading to fears that he was injured but Gracia says he was simply giving his player a breather.

“Atsu was somewhat worked out,” he told the club’s official website. “He had a good 45 minutes, and it did not make sense to expose him much more in the second half, as we had fresh players [on the bench].

“He did a good job and I am happy about that.

“We are changing our line up a lot due to player absence through injuries and suspensions. The players missing showed their level [earlier], and the team continued to perform well.

“That is a credit to the players that, when some other players are not around, the team doesn’t fall apart.”