Malaga boss happy with Atsu debut

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.”

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