Koke, the scorer of the winner in Atletico's last win at Malaga in 2014, capitalised on some excellent hold-up play from Fernando Torres to nudge Atletico ahead in the 26th minute of a scrappy game.
Filipe Luis then scooped up a loose ball in the 74th minute following another run from Torres to dink the ball over Carlos Kameni for his first goal of the season.
Malaga's Rosaleda stadium holds special memories for Atletico manager Diego Simeone as it was the scene of his first game in charge of the club back in January 2012, although his side had won only one of their five previous matches there.
They looked to be in for another difficult game after Nico Gaitan and Kevin Gameiro sustained injuries in midweek to join the suspended Yannick Carrasco as well as Augusto Fernandez, Tiago, Sime Vrsaljko and Miguel Angel Moya on the sidelines, meaning Simeone had to call on two reserve players to complete his 18-man squad.
Malaga, however, have had a rotten season, changing their manager twice, and had won just one of their previous 15 league games heading into the fixture, and Michel's side offered little resistance.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Injury-hit Atletico beat Malaga but Real Sociedad lose ground