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Played
January 26, 2014 3:00 PM EST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 56355‎
 
40′ Piqué
 
55′ Pedro
 
 
Top of the Match
Alexis Sánchez
Alexis Sánchez
FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Sergio Sánchez
Sergio Sánchez
Malaga
Sergio Sánchez
Sergio Sánchez
Malaga

Barcelona 3-0 Malaga: Blaugrana storm back to the summit of La Liga

Gerard Pique, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez got the goals as Tata Martino's men moved back above Atletico Madrid on goal difference.

PEDRO MARCOS ANGELERI BARCELONA MALAGA LA LIGA 01262014
Getty Images
Barcelona returned to the summit of La Liga with an ultimately straightforward 3-0 win against Malaga at Camp Nou on Sunday night.

The Catalan giants dropped to third in the table after Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid won earlier in the weekend but reclaimed their place at the summit with a thoroughly convincing performance Sunday.

After consecutive La Liga draws against Atletico and Levante – the first time Barca went two league games without winning since May 2011 – Gerardo Martino's side dominated the first half and took the lead through Gerard Pique in the 40th minute, his second goal in as many matches.

Barca would have led by more if it were not for the brilliance of Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero, but goals from Pedro and Alexis Sanchez in the first 20 minutes of the second half sealed the result.

Lionel Messi did not score, as his league scoring drought extended to 120 days, but new president Josep Maria Bartomeu, watching from the stands, won't be concerned as Barca dominated from start to finish.

Barcelona was again without Andres Iniesta (left knee) and Neymar (ankle), but that did not stop the defending champions, who were denied by the woodwork in the sixth minute when Alexis' clipped effort hit the left post.

Duda forced Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes into a diving save with a curling free kick, but the hosts were dominating, and only a sloppy first touch robbed Messi of a goal as he lobbed wide before Caballero clawed away a Dani Alves shot from a tight angle.

Caballero then kept out Jordi Alba and Flavio Pereira cleared Pedro's goalbound header, and while Valdes had to react quickly to keep out Marcos Angeleri's header, the chances kept coming for Martino's men.

Alba flicked onto the roof of the net before Pique finally broke the deadlock, as Xavi's corner was flicked on by Alexis, allowing the defender to chest down and power his shot past Caballero.

The goalkeeper denied Cesc Fabregas on the stroke of halftime and Alba made an important clearance after the break, restricting Bartlomiej Pawlowski a free shot on goal following Vitorino Antunes' cross.

Alexis and Fabregas were frustrated by Caballero again before Pique nodded a Xavi corner onto the post. But Pedro killed the game off in the 55th minute when he showed great skill before curling past Caballero with his right foot.

Duda's long-distance effort forced Valdes to scramble back, but a terrific Messi run led to Barca's third, as Pedro unselfishly squared for Alexis to tap in at the far post just after the hour mark.

Messi had a free kick narrowly go over, as his search for a league goal continued, while Caballero saved superbly to keep out Fabregas in the dying stages, but three goals were more than enough for Barcelona.

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FC Barcelona

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
30′ 40′
4.00
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
3.50
22
Daniel Alves
Defender
3.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
3.00
6
Xavi
Midfielder
78′
3.50
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
3.50
7
Pedro
Striker
55′ 61′ 61′
3.50
9
4.00
10
Lionel Messi
Striker
55′
3.50

Malaga

4.00
13
2.50
-
Flávio
Defender
71′
3.00
-
Antunes
Defender
2.50
-
2.00
21
3.00
6
Camacho
Midfielder
2.50
-
3.00
23
3.00
17
Duda
Midfielder
31′
2.50
9
2.50
26
Juanmi
Striker

Substitutes

13
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
 - 
21
Adriano
Midfielder
 - 
19
 - 
24
Sergi Roberto
Midfielder
78′
 - 
20
Tello
Striker
61′
2.50
-
J. Dongou
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
Carlos Kameni
Goalkeeper
 - 
18
Eliseu
Midfielder
 - 
-
Casado
Defender
3.00
77
P. Morales
Midfielder
66′
 - 
-
Sergi Darder
Midfielder
81′
 - 
27
Portillo
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0