Quickly off his line to save at the feet of Messi after Gamez's terrible back pass, he also came out to narrow down the angle for Abidal. Then cut out a dangerous ball from Iniesta. Alert to cut out another ball with Messi ready to pounce in the first half, but ended up being beaten four times. Not his fault, though.
Active on the left flank but struggled as he came up against Dani Alves. One of Malaga's more positive performers, but was reduced to a largely defensive role.
Made one good intervention to cut out a Messi ball into the area after 13 minutes but was beaten time and time again by his international team-mate after that. Not a night to remember for the center back.
One or two decent blocks aside, the Dutchman was also poor as Malaga failed to deal with Messi and Alexis, especially in the second half. Another poor defensive display from Malaga as he and Demichelis failed again.
Kept Dani Alves fairly quiet for most of the game but was caused problems by Alexis Sanchez and was unable to get forward as much as he likes due to the Catalans' control.
His shocking back pass almost let in Messi after 27 minutes and he was lucky to see Caballero make the save. Struggled to contain Adriano and Messi as Barca dominated and was unable to offer sufficient protection to his central defenders.
Cazorla is a fine player but he was unable to show his quality as he was restricted to a largely defensive role. Never stopped running and worked hard in the middle for Malaga, but his side needed his influence in at attacking sense.
Has hardly featured this season and looked off the pace as Malaga were left chasing shadows in midfield. Poor defensively and unable to provide much of an attacking threat. Booked for a bad foul on Busquets.
Isco saw one dangerous ball into the box early on cut out by Pique, before testing Valdes with a pile driver from outside the box and forcing the Barcelona keeper into a stunning double save straight afterwards. His shot also led to Malaga's goal late on.
An anonymous display from the Italian in midfield, who lost possession on far too many occasions and failed to do anything productive when he had the ball early on in the game.
R. van Nistelrooy
Made a mess of a fantastic chance at the far post just before Barca's goal and was easily caught by Mascherano as he raced into the area after that. Not the player he was and was replaced after 59 minutes.
Pushed an Isco pile driver over the bar and then made a brilliant double save from the same player to keep Barca on level terms early on. Could only parry an Isco drive late on and Rondon fired home the rebound. Little to do otherwise.
Grew in confidence as Barca went ahead and began to link up well with his teammates.with some intelligent running down the right. Final ball was often frustrating, however.
Defensively sound and got forward well, twice advancing dangerously into the box in an attempt to repeat his goal at the Bernabeu. Lost the ball to Rondon in the second half just outside the area, but it came to nothing. A positive showing.
Cut out a dangerous early ball from Isco. Good distribution as usual and brought the ball out of defense to set up a decent attack late on, when he continued his run, but saw Alves' cross blocked in the Malaga area.
The utility man was asked to play in a forward position and filled in superbly alongside Messi and Alexis Sanchez, setting up the Argentine for the first goal with a fine cross. Put in a lot of decent balls and was a lively presence for the Catalans.
His change of play and feints around the box are a joy to behold and he gave Malaga's defense plenty to worry about. Was given a rousing ovation by both sets of fans when he went off in the second half, partly due to his World Cup heroics.
Sat in front of the defense and made some key interventions for Barcelona as he protected his defenders and did a fine job for the team. Decent passing as well. Took a blow from Camacho and lost one or two balls late in the game.
Raced back to put off Van Nistelrooy charged into the area late in the first half, and his wonderful feint took out two Malaga players in the second period. Comfortable once again in a defensive role but his late mistake could have cost Barca a goal as Rondon was given a free header.
Good cross to set up Alexis for a header early on, but the Chilean was offside anyway. Later saw two shots blocked and the second netted by Alexis for the second Barcelona goal. Not Xavi, at least not yet, but the youngster linked up well with some fine passing.
Put Barcelona ahead with a fantastic header in the first half, added an even better second with a slalom run and finish, then a sensational third as he left four Malaga defenders in his wake before beating Caballero. Also saw a free kick hit the bar and rebound onto the goal line. Quite brilliant.
Early header tested Caballero but the Chilean was offside. He has the knack of getting into great positions and was on hand to smash home the rebound for Barcelona's second. Full of running in a lively display as he continues to look better and better.
- 25 C. Kameni
- 3 Weligton
- 21 Sergio Sánchez
Replaced Cazorla but was unable to make an impact in his 13 minutes.
- 17 Duda
Looked lively after coming on as a substitute and set up Rondon for a good chance after a Mascherano error. Little apart from that, though.
Came on and looked sharp as he robbed Abidal and then scored a fine goal after Valdes could only parry an Isco drive. Also came close with a header after that.
- 13 Pinto
- 5 Puyol
J. dos Santos
Participated a lot, occupied the central midfield role with quality and decent distribution.
Came on for Iniesta after 72 minutes but didn't really see much of the ball and continues to look below his best this season.
- 6 Xavi
- 4 Fàbregas
Another late substitute, but the youngster didn't really get the chance to run at a tired Malaga defense.