The home side were denied by the post on 17 minutes when Joselu’s shot deflected off David Lombán inside the penalty area and struck the woodwork.
Juan Carlos cleared Álex Muñoz’s header off the line before the half-hour mark and the visitors had a man sent off when Keidi Bare picked up a second yellow card on 44 minutes.
Tenerife dominated possession in the second-half, but were forced to settle for a point and are now winless at home against Málaga in their last 12 games – a record that stretches back to 2001.
Tenerife build as game grow and hit the post
Both sides tasted defeat in their return to LaLiga SmartBank after the three-month break. It was the visitors, who started brightly and created their first opening inside two minutes.
Armando Sadiku spotted the overlapping run of Tete Moreno, who broke down the right side before cross to the back post. Juan Carlos headed back across goal and drew a save from the ‘keeper.
The home side grew into the game and went close on 12 minutes. Shaq Moore stole the ball from Mikel Villanueva deep in the Málaga half, crossed low, but Dani Gómez was unable to get his shot on target.
Luis Pérez was causing problems for the visitors down the right-hand side. The full-back crossed low and Joselu’s shot deflected off Lombán, went across the face of goal and struck the post.
Gómez drew a low save from the Málaga ‘keeper before the home side had an effort cleared off the line. Luis Milla’s corner was headed down by Muñoz, but Juan Carlos managed to divert the ball behind for a corner.
Three minutes after the hydration break, Tenerife showed their attacking prowess once again. Pérez’s cross from the right found the unmarked Joselu, who was unable to direct his header goalward.
The visitors were reduced to 10-men just a minute before half-time. Bare had only been booked four minutes earlier, but a late challenge on Gómez saw the referee produce a second yellow card and then a red.
Hosts dominate possession, but can’t find breakthrough in second-half
With a man advantage, Tenerife were seeing a lot more of the ball in comparison to their opponents, but despite an early chance in the second-half, where the hosts had a goal ruled out for offside, they weren’t able to break down the Málaga back line until just after the hour mark.
Javi Muńoz saw his shot saved by the Málaga goalkeeper, who was called into action shortly after when substitute Matías Nahuel fired through the legs of the defender from the edge of the area.
Young forward Álex Bermejo had two chances in quick succession, both of which didn't trouble Munir that much in the Málaga goal. After the hydration break, the hosts went on the ascendancy once again.
Nahuel picked up the ball on the left, drove inside and into the box and the ball ricocheted off a couple of bodies before falling back to the substitute. Right at the pivotal moment, though, he lost his footing and couldn’t direct his shot at goal.
Desperation was setting in for Tenerife, half chances from Muńoz and Moore sailed over the bar, but the game was summed up for the hosts with their opening on 89 minutes.
Milla delivered a corner into the box, from the right, Ramón Miérez beat his marker at the front post, but his header went inches over the crossbar and the Argentinian was left with his head in his hands.