* Pizzi gets second-half winner (Updates after Deportivo victory)
MADRID, Jan 5 (Reuters) - New Deportivo La Coruna coach Domingos Paciencia made a winning start with a surprise 1-0 home victory over high-flying Malaga in La Liga on Saturday.
The former Braga and Sporting boss replaced Jose Luis Oltra at the beginning of the week, taking over a side bottom of the table, and guided them to their third win in 20 games in all competitions this season.
Deportivo looked tighter in defence and sharper breaking forward and struck through Pizzi in the 57th minute.
The Portuguese forward pounced on a weak back pass, rounded a defender in the area and thumped a shot inside the near post to help his side climb to second from bottom.
Malaga, who have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League and beat Real Madrid 3-2 in their last outing, stayed fourth with 31 points from 18 games, missing out on the chance to climb above the champions into third.
Jose Mourinho's Real, with 33 points, host Real Sociedad on Sunday looking to close a 16-point gap on leaders Barcelona who entertain city rivals Espanyol the same day.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Levante and Valencia made the most of red cards for their opponents to come from behind and record wins that kept them in the hunt for European places.
Levante beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 and are sixth with 30 points. Valencia rose to seventh on 27 after a 2-1 victory at Granada.
Hosts Levante went behind in the sixth minute as Aritz Aduriz headed Bilbao in front with his 11th goal of the campaign. The overlapping Christian Lell then blasted the equaliser into the top corner after 26.
The visitors had young defender Aymeric Laporte sent off in the 44th minute and Vicente Iborra headed in from close range before the teams went in for halftime.
Nabil El Zhar's low shot from outside the area effectively ended the game as a contest in the 69th minute.
Spain striker Fernando Llorente, in talks about a possible move from Bilbao to Juventus, came on as a substitute but was unable to do much to dispel the doubts surrounding the future of coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Bilbao, who reached the King's Cup and Europa League finals last season, are 13th with 21 points.
Granada were a man down from the 34th minute when Mikel Rico was harshly shown a second yellow card for handling the ball against Valencia.
The hosts took the lead in the 50th minute, however, when Brayan Angulo's audacious shot with the outside of his left foot looped into the top corner.
The game threatened to boil over as Granada sought to break up the flow but Valencia levelled when Jonas powered in a header from a corner in the 59th minute.
Ernesto Valverde's side kept up the pressure and were rewarded when the lively Pablo Piatti slotted the ball in at the back post to seal victory eight minutes from time. (Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by Stephen Wood)