Barcelona continue their La Liga campaign against Malaga on Sunday night knowing a win is an absolute must.
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!
|Barca XI vs. Malaga|
|Player||Position||H/T Rating||F/T Rating|
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.