A 3-1 win away to Valladolid on Sunday leaves Malaga fifth in the Spanish Liga - and dreaming of the Champions League, dpa reported.
Former Spain striker Albert Luque shot Malaga ahead with his trusty left foot in the eighth minute, Apono made it 2-0 from the penalty spot on the half hour, after Inaki Bea had pulled down Eliseu Pereira.
Pedro Oldoni pulled a goal back for Valladolid eight minutes from time. But Malaga continued to attack instead of dropping back, and were rewarded for their attitude when Nacho made it 3-1 in the 89th minute.
"It's lovely to be so high up in the table," said Nacho, "but we should keep our feet on the ground, we shouldn't get too excited about this."
Newly-promoted Malaga are the revelation team of the Spanish season. They are now fifth with 39 points, just two points below fourth-placed Villarreal, who beat Sporting Gijon 2-1 on Saturday.
Malaga are one point ahead of Valencia - who are away to Deportivo Coruna later on Sunday - and three ahead of troubled Atletico Madrid.
Sunday's other early games all had relegation significance.
Osasuna beat Numancia 2-0 with first-half goals from Jaroslav Plasil and Massoud Shojaei. Mallorca beat Racing Santander 1-0 on a late goal from Jose Manuel Jurado, Almeria battled out a 1-1 draw away to Recreativo Huelva.
These results leave Numancia bottom on 20 points. Then come Espanyol - who stunned leaders Barcelona 2-1 on Saturday - on 21, Mallorca and Osasuna on 24, Betis and Huelva on 26.