4 Talking Points from Barcelona's 4-2 Victory Against Malaga
Barcelona entered Thursday’s match against Malaga with a lot on the line and even more to prove. But the Catalans did not disappoint as the game proved to be one of the most thrilling of the season, ending in a 4-2 win for Barcelona.
But with La Blaugrana staring down a two-legged tie with Real Madrid, things are not going to get any easier.
The win is just what Barcelona needed after such a dismal week, and there is no reason to expect that the recent bad results were anything more than just crazy football.
With the squad at full health and big games coming up, Barcelona continues to sit pretty in all competitions. But discussion will surround the match in Malaga for quite some time.
In this article, we will take a look at the four biggest discussions that fans will be having after a huge win for La Blaugrana.
Barcelona Is Best with Andres Iniesta on the Wing
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With such a strong squad at Barcelona, players will constantly be battling for a starting role. But Andres Iniesta has found a new role for the club and it has resulted in an even more dynamic attacking force.
Iniesta has surprisingly become an even better player since moving to the wing. He is creating more chances and getting behind defenses, but it is his threat as a scorer that has grown the most recently.
The Spanish illusionist scored a thrilling goal against and could have easily had another if not for the post. But it is clear that his link-up with Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba is working wonders for the Barcelona attack.
But it is not just the issue of Iniesta’s play on the wing that makes the lineup so strong.
With a midfield spot now open, Cesc Fábregas has been able to pair up with Xavi. The Catalan duo has formed an unstoppable team in Barcelona’s play and has simply added a new dimension to the Blaugrana style.
Sadly, though, Iniesta’s work on the wing has limited the playing time for stars like David Villa. According to Hanna Duncan of the Metro, Villa is looking to leave the club. A move may actually be the best choice if he wants more minutes, because Iniesta is certainly the starter now.
The sky is the limit for how well this new attacking lineup can work. At first, it appeared as though scoring would get harder. But Barcelona’s attack is now looking better than ever.
Messi Is No Longer Carrying the Scoring Load
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For the majority of the current season, Lionel Messi has had to shoulder the burden of scoring. But for the last month or so, the Argentine is finally getting some assistance.
At the begging of the New Year, many questions were swirling around the wingers of Barcelona. Pedro, Villa and Alexis Sanchez were all starved of goals. But that changed very quickly.
Pedro has now become a scoring threat once again after an opening goal against Malaga and a brace in the Catalan derby. With the Spaniard scoring once again, La Blaugrana is looking very dangerous.
But it is not just Pedro who has begun to contribute. As stated in the previous slide, Andres Iniesta is becoming a scoring threat as well. And with two scorers on either side of Lionel Messi, defenders must hope for luck to be on their side.
It has also been a wonderful season for both Xavi and Cesc Fábregas in attack. The midfield duo is contributing scoring as well as creating many of the chances that are leading to Barcelona’s goals.
But with the new year also came desperately needed goals from both David Villa and Alexis Sanchez. Though neither has really found their best form, they are scoring—which only gives Barcelona more options.
With the weight a lot lighter for Lionel Messi, Barcelona is looking sharp and extremely dangerous.
Barcelona Rebound from a Bad Week
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There is no denying that Barcelona entered the match against Malaga coming off of the worst week of the season.
The Catalans absolutely needed a big win to regain confidence and moral heading into the coming weeks, and they certainly took no time to get back to their winning ways.
After a draw at home against Malaga and their first loss of the year in La Liga to Real Sociedad, many were starting to wonder if the Catalans were now slowing down.
For things to be made even worse, Victor Valdes announced that he would not be renewing his contract with the club. With so much disappointment in the span of one week, Barcelona had to beat Malaga to silence the critics.
This was called "a must-win" for Barcelona by assistant coach Jordi Roura, and it showed on the pitch (via Goal.com).
Barcelona played one of their most exciting games of the season while cruising to victory at La Rosaleda. But it is the importance of the win that will have Cules talking.
La Blaugrana needed to prove something in Malaga. The Catalans were pressed to show that they could rebound from what could be called a week of disasters.
Not only did Barcelona bounce back and silence the critics, they proved they are still the best club in the world. Though trials may come, this team looks set to achieve greatness this season.
Next Up, Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu
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El Clasico is among us once again. Barcelona’s victory over Malaga saw the Catalans advance to the next round of the Copa del Rey where they will face bitter rivals Real Madrid.
The first leg will take place next Wednesday in Madrid, and it already looks very appetizing for football fans.
With Barcelona back on great form, Los Blancos will need to be at their best to gain possible advancement. La Blaugrana will certainly try to get valuable away goals in the first leg, and that could determine the tie itself.
Real Madrid will have more to deal with than just the form of Barcelona. The Whites will be without some key players such as Sergio Ramos who will be suspended, and Iker Casillas who will see many weeks on the sideline due to injury (via Daily Mail).
Expect the Catalans to take advantage of a weakened Real Madrid lineup, but do not think things will be easy.
As we all know, every Clasico is huge. Whether at full strength or not, the game will be very difficult for both sides.
Barcelona could almost decide the tie in the first leg, but nothing is ever certain in football. Fans will be in for treat as El Clasico will determine who will be in the final of the Copa del Rey.
What are your biggest takeaways from Barcelona’s big win? Any predictions for the coming Clasico? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.
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