Radamel Falcao scored his eighth league goal of the season to put the home side ahead after six minutes before Roque Santa Cruz equalised with a powerful header. However, with only two minutes remaining Weligton diverted the ball into his own net to gift Diego Simeone's side all three points.Los Colchoneros took the lead after only six minutes through their prolific talisman Falcao. The Colombian striker evaded his marker to head Emre Belozoglu's inviting cross past the hapless Willy Caballero.
Diego Simeone's side dominated the early stages and nearly doubled their lead when Juanfran sprang forward from right-back, but his cross was just too high for the unmarked Adrian in the middle.
Falcao was proving to be a constant thorn in Manuel Pellegrini's side and in the 31st minute, he broke the offside trap to latch onto Arda Turan's clever through pass only to be denied by the assistant referee's flag. Replays showed, however, that the striker was onside.
Thibaut Courtois had been a mere spectator until this point bar one relatively comfortable save from Camacho's speculative long-range effort but he was helpless to prevent Santa Cruz from levelling the scores on 36 minutes. The Manchester City loanee showed his aerial prowess by thumping an unstoppable header past Courtois from Nacho Monreal's left-wing cross.
Falcao nearly restored Atletico's lead just before the break, but Weligton produced a crucial interception to divert Adrian's low cross wide of the post.
The Atleti attacking duo continued to cause Malaga problems after the break, and Falcao came within inches of doubling his tally on 54 minutes when he met his strike partner's low cross at the front post, but could not divert it goalwards.
Malaga were struggling to fashion chances on the home goal although Isco's stinging drive just over the crossbar on the 72 minute mark was the closest Manuel Pellegrini's side came to taking the lead.
With the game seemingly heading for a draw, Weligton was the unfortunate villain as Miranda's knockdown struck his legs and ricocheted past Caballero to give Simeone's side a valuable three points to bring them level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.