Levante have the opportunity on Thursday evening to exact revenge on Málaga by sending José González’s side down to Segunda with five games of the season remaining.
Chief on the mind of Levante boss Paco López will be ensuring his own side’s salvation with Deportivo now just four points adrift of the Frogs, but home supporters will enjoy a victory even more after Málaga’s hand in two historical relegations for the Valencia-based side.
Those with long memories will hark back to the 1964-65 season, when the sides met in a playoff for promotion to the top flight. Levante had finished second from bottom in the first division while Málaga were second in Segunda División’s southern group.
López and Morales remain from last relegation
The first leg took place in La Rosaleda on June 6, 1965, with the home side winning 4-2. In the return at Levante’s former Vallejo stadium, the Frogs were unable to turn it around in a 0-0 draw that saw Málaga promoted and Levante sent down to Segunda. It took four decades of purgatory in the lower leagues before Levante returned to the top flight in 2004-05.
Fate threw the sides together again in week 35 of the 2015-16 season, with Levante needing to avoid defeat to keep their survival hopes alive for another week. Málaga won 3-1.
The Frogs’ line-up that day included club captain Pedro López and vice-captain José Luis Morales, who stayed at the club and helped them back to Primera as champions of the second tier last season.