Malaga 1-3 Barcelona: La Liga as It Happened
La Liga Final Score: Malaga 1-3 Barcelona, La Rosaleda Stadium
Goals: Messi 27', Fabregas 50', Thiago 83' (Bar) Buonanotte 89' (Mal)
Malaga: Caballero; Sergio Sanchez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal; Isco, Camacho, Toulalan, Eliseu; Joaquin, Santa Cruz. Subs: Kameni, Onyewu, Iturra, Portillo, Buonanotte, Saviola, Fernandez.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Fabregas, Pedro; Messi. Subs: Pinto, Puyol, Sanchez, Thiago, Adriano, Song, Tello.
92'- A one-on-one Alexis Sanchez has a golden chance to make it 4-1, but after rounding Caballero, the winger can only shoot into the side netting.
The final whistle then blows as Barcelona claim a 3-1 victory over Malaga thanks to goals from an inspired Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara.
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90'- GOAL MALAGA!
Malaga put some gloss on the scoresheet as Buonanotte curls in a cracking free kick from 25 yards out. Valdes motionless, no clean sheet for the Spanish keeper.
87'- Malaga have played well tonight, but have run into a footballing juggernaut - pure and simple.
There's nothing any team in the world could have done to stop Barca tonight.
85'- Barca go in search of a fourth to rub salt in Malaga's wounds, passing the ball around with ease.
Malaga 0-3 Barcelona
83'- GOAL BARCA!
It's the La Masia star Thiago who finishes with aplomb from outside the Malaga area. The sub skips past a challenge, plays a deft one-two with Messi, before slotting past a helpless Caballero. Genius.
81'- Substitute Alexis Sanchez almost sets up a third with a lay off to an incoming Lionel Messi, but the Argentine swings and misses to comical effect.
79'- As Malaga counter, Buonanotte goes for glory when a pass would have been more advisable.
The attacking midfielder slips at the crucial moment, and sees his shot roll harmlessly wide of Valdes' goal.
77'- Iniesta terrorises the Malaga back line once again with a direct run, but his lay off to Messi is cleared for a corner. Demichelis clears the resulting set piece.
Before tonight's game, Malaga had the statistically best defence in La Liga. Manuel Pellegrini's side had only conceded 13 goals in the league.
75'- Isco finds Joaquin in space on the right wing, but the Spaniard's cross drifts clear of any of his teammates inside the area.
Joaquin has had a relatively quiet night, kept under wraps by the Barca defence.
73'- A quick Barca attack almost ends with Fabregas' cross drifting over Caballero into his goal, but the keeper gets a glove on the ball, conceding a corner.
The set piece is headed clear at the first time of asking by the home team.
71'- Isco tries to get his team going with some nimble footwork within the Barca half, but his chipped pass out to Sanchez on the right flank flies out for a throw-in.
Malaga 0-2 Barcelona
69'- Malaga are struggling to get a touch on the ball at present as the Blaugrana pass it around comfortably in midfield.
Barca have played a blinder tonight - as good as they ever played under Pep Guardiola.
66'- Iniesta lifts a delicate pass over the Malaga back line to Jordi Alba, but the full-back crosses first time not realising how much space he's in.
Andres Iniesta has been terrific tonight, showing why he's one of the greatest footballers on the planet, right now.
64'- Sanchez curls a cross into the Barca area, Camacho goes down under pressure, but the referee waves play on.
The home side have had a number of appeals for a penalty waved away tonight, none of them clear decisions, though.
61'- Great chance for Messi to make it three, but Sanchez and Welligton both slide dramatically to block the Argentine's shot from just outside the area.
They've been cut open several times tonight, but Malaga's defensive stars just showed why they're so highly rated.
59'- Cesc Fabregas tries to replicate Messi's earlier assist by chipping a pass towards Pedro, but Caballero is out swiftly to claim.
57'- Jordi Alba and Demichelis get into a bit of a physical duel near the corner flag, but tempers are quickly calmed.
Before today, Malaga sat in fourth place in the league on 31 points, 21 points behind the leaders, Barcelona.
55'- Dani Alves lobs a cross into the Malaga box, but the home side clear easily. Barca have had far more success breaking down their opponents down the left flank tonight, rather than Alves' right side.
Malaga 0-2 Barcelona
52'- Barca completely in control at the moment as Malaga struggle to get a foothold on the game.
Barcelona have now scored an incredible 63 goals in the Spanish Primera Division so far this term.
50'- GOAL BARCA!
Phenomenal goal from the away side as Cesc Fabregas cooly finishes off after getting on the end of a deadly Messi through ball. Fantastic vision from the Ballon d'Or winner.
48'- An offside flag foils what would have perhaps been goal of the season.
Barca in fantasyland as they stroke it around Malaga's area, but Messi's final backheel to Iniesta sees the linesman raise his flag. Tight, tight call.
46'- The players are back out for the second half as the referee blows his whistle to let battle recommence.
Barcelona will still be favourites to pick up three points tonight, but Malaga have been worthy foes for Tito Vilanova's team of superheroes.
45'- The halftime whistle blows on the dot of 45 minutes and Barcelona head to the break ahead thanks to a horror mistake from Malaga's Camacho.
Still all to play for in the second half as neither side have dominated here. Lionel Messi's (who else?) strike the difference.
44'- Debatable offside call as Lionel Messi receives the ball in acres of space in the Malaga area. Looked tight, but probably on.
43'- Monreal finds enough space on the left flank to cross, but his low ball into the Barca area is claimed well by Valdes.
Though Barca will most likely head into the break ahead, Malaga have looked dangerous on a number of occasions tonight.
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