Julio Baptista scored twice as Malaga came from behind to beat 10-man Hercules 3-1 and boost their chances of Primera Division survival with four rounds of the championship remaining.
Nelson Haedo Valdez gave struggling Hercules the lead after just three minutes, but Baptista hit back straight away and secured victory with a late header, moments after Salomon Rondon had made it 2-1.
Valdez rose majestically at the far post to power home after just three minutes of play.
But Hercules' joy was short-lived as Baptista headed inside the near post at the other end following Duda's excellent cross.
Salomon Rondon and Valdez both missed decent chances later in the half, but the game looked likely to end even as it entered its final quarter.
That all changed after 66 minutes, though, as Matias Fritzler was sent off for a second bookable offence for hauling down Rondon on the edge of the box.
The referee awarded a free-kick, but was persuaded - erroneously - by his assistant to give a penalty as the foul had occurred outside the box.
Apono smashed his spot-kick against the post and Hercules survived, but the visitors were unable to compete with a man down and Rondon put the home side in front after 72 minutes, when he climbed above two defenders to head into the corner from Eliseu Pereira's cross.
And three minutes later, the unmarked Baptista powered a diving header past Juan Calatayud from another Eliseu centre to make it 3-1.
The win sees Malaga, with 39 points, climb to 14th place, while Hercules remain second to bottom with 33.