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Barcelona vs. Malaga: Live Player Ratings for Barca

Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina in action during their la Copa del Rey soccer match against Levante at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday Jan. 22, 2014. The Argentinean plays his 400th game in a Barcelona shirt in the Copa del Rey against Levante. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Alberto Saiz/Associated Press
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 26, 2014

Barcelona continue their La Liga campaign against Malaga on Sunday night knowing a win is an absolute must.

Real Madrid's victory against Granada on Saturday placed them temporarily at the top of the table, so the pressure is on for la Blaugrana to snap this two-game winless run.

Can Lionel Messi and Co. bite back? We'll be providing live player ratings—updated at both half-time and full-time—so stay tuned, stay in touch and see if you agree with our gradings!

Lineup TBA

Barca XI vs. Malaga
PlayerPositionH/T RatingF/T Rating
Victor ValdésGK88
Daniel AlvesRB88
Gerard PiquéCB78
Javier MascheranoCB66
Jordi AlbaLB89
Sergio BusquetsDM77
XaviCM67
Cesc FàbregasCM67
PedroLW67
Lionel MessiCF69
Alexis SanchezRW79
Subs
Cristian TelloWingN/A6
Sergi RobertoMIDN/A7
Ibrahim AfellayMIDN/AN/A
B/R UK

 

Victor Valdés: Pulled off several stunning saves to keep Malaga off the scoresheet. Reflexes of a cat.

Daniel Alves: Irrepressible on the right side storming forward, but lacking the killer touch.

Gerard Piqué: Scored the first goal and looked relatively solid in defence. Developed a serious taste for goals and played up front for spells.

Javier Mascherano: Was lucky to get away with a two-footed lunge and went through the back of an attacker on the edge of the box. A little uneasy.

Jordi Alba: His pace is a real asset in both defence and attack. Made two goal-saving interventions. Remarkable.

Sergio Busquets: Stepped in well when needed, unfairly punished for a strong 50/50 challenge.

Xavi: High pass completion but not a lot of creativity came from the master.

Cesc Fàbregas: A little underwhelming in his primary creative role in the first half, but linked up well with the attacking three in the second period.

Pedro: Fluffed a few good chances from strong positions in the first half, but scored a sensational goal to double the lead. Substituted after with a knock.

Lionel Messi: Far from his electric dribbling self, but played a number of high-quality balls and picked up a deserved assist. Stunning showing from a No. 10 role.

Alexis Sanchez: Dynamic on the ball, hit the post early on; another excellent showing capped with a tap-in goal in the second half.

(sub) Cristian Tello: An uneventful run out for last week's hat-trick hero.

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