In-form Malaga, who sit third in La Liga and have won their opening three games in the Champions League, were held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Espanyol on Saturday.
The Andalusian side rested Joaquin Sanchez and Javier Saviola after wins over Valladolid and AC Milan in the last seven days, but in a game of very few chances they could not find a way past an industrious Espanyol side who move off the bottom of the table.
The point for Malaga means they will stay in third position as Real Madrid, who play Mallorca on Sunday, are four points behind in fourth position.
Malaga move on to 18 points, four behind joint-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Barca visit Rayo Vallecano later on Saturday while Atletico host Osasuna on Sunday.