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Played
January 13, 2013 8:00 PM GMT
Estadio La Rosaleda — Málaga
Referee:‬ Carlos Delgado‎
Attendance:‬ 29323‎
 
Messi 27′
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Malaga 1-3 Barcelona

Goal.com was on hand to cast a critical eye over events at La Rosaleda, where Lionel Messi put the Andalusian outfit to the sword to continue their record Liga start

By Keeghann Sinanan

  • Willy Caballero
    56
    12
    3.00

    Willy Caballero

    Stepped off his line to make two vital one-on-one saves in the opening stages, but was sold short by Camacho for the opener. Despite conceding three times, he still had a decent game.

  • Weligton
    18
    22
    3.00

    Weligton

    Allowed Messi in behind him a few times, but made up for it with some crucial interceptions and off the ball work that helped to keep the score down.

  • Martín Demichelis
    44
    14
    3.00

    Martín Demichelis

    Very strong in the air and in the tackle, but on a few instances when Barca were in full flow, he was caught lacking a tad for pace, and struggled to keep up.

  • Monreal
    18
    14
    2.50

    Monreal

    Time and time again, he afforded his man too much time and space. His positioning bordered on the absurd at times.

  • Eliseu
    12
    21
    2.50

    Eliseu

    Far too often, when he squared up one-on-one with his marker, he came off second best. This seemed to rattle him, as his decision making became increasingly erratic as the match progressed.

  • Sergio Sánchez
    14
    16
    3.00

    Sergio Sánchez

    Generally stuck to his defensive task, and stood his ground positionally, but found Iniesta difficult to track when the diminutive Barca man decided to cut inside.

  • Camacho
    12
    35
    2.00

    Camacho Flop of the Match

    Undid a lot of good work by his side with a shocking back pass that picked out Messi in front of Caballero for the opening goal of the game. Tried hard thereafter, but that mistake really took a lot out of his team.

  • Joaquín
    61
    8
    3.50

    Joaquín

    The most inventive and enthusiastic presence in attack for Malaga. When his route down the flank was blocked, he showed no hesitation in cutting in towards goal to cause problems. The only blot on his display was that he tried to do a little too much at times when on the ball.

  • Jérémy Toulalan
    29
    14
    3.00

    Jérémy Toulalan

    Mature and disciplined in midfield and put in a shift defensively when needed, while facilitating his team-mates' adequately with his passing.

  • Isco
    43
    17
    2.50

    Isco

    The midfield prodigy was not quite able to make his presence felt, as he was usually harried off the ball by the likes of Busquets before he could make a decision as to what to do with it. Barcelona targeted and marshalled him well.

  • Roque Santa Cruz
    20
    17
    2.00

    Roque Santa Cruz

    With his side exerting most of their energy in keeping Barca at bay, the Paraguayan was forced to feed on scraps and punts forward, and as a result appeared very isolated from the game.

Substitutions

  • Manuel Iturra
    17
    11
    3.00

    Manuel Iturra

    Gave his side some much needed bite and tenacity in midfield, helping to stem the Barca tide somewhat.

  • Diego Buonanotte
    82
    8
    3.50

    Diego Buonanotte

    Added a consolation goal for his side with an admirable free kick at the death to make it 3-1. It was he who won the set piece in the first place, as his movement and speed was difficult to track.

  • Portillo
    10
    15
    2.50

    Portillo

    Added little in attack after coming on, losing possession of the ball multiple times.

  • Víctor Valdés
    142
    33
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    Malaga rarely seriously tested him, but he did what he had to do with little fuss.

  • Daniel Alves
    143
    39
    2.50

    Daniel Alves

    Pulled of a few successful tackles, but a more than once he left the Malaga wide player on his flank with a little too much space, though his recovery was usually spot on.

  • Piqué
    183
    16
    3.00

    Piqué

    Marshalled the defence with distinction for the Catalans, playing the ball with his customary sense of composure, while showing little fear to step out to the flanks to mop up danger when needed.

  • Jordi Alba
    177
    20
    3.50

    Jordi Alba

    Did a good job defensively by nullifying the threat of Joaquin, and was an important cog in Barca’s endeavours in the attacking third, with his usual drive on and off the ball.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    250
    21
    4.00

    Cesc Fàbregas

    Buzzed around to find space in the attacking third excellently, and was a nightmare to pick up for the Malaga defence.

  • Xavi
    216
    20
    3.50

    Xavi

    Malaga's initial pressure in midfield forced him to play a little safer than he would have liked, but as the game wore on his influence grew. He was able to toy with the opposition midfielders as the game wore on, and left them chasing shadows with his excellent distribution.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    264
    24
    4.00

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Malaga could do little to stop him cutting in off the flanks and wreaking absolute havoc in the attacking third. Iniesta's quick feet and vision were, as always, a notch above and a step ahead of his opponents.

  • Javier Mascherano
    146
    40
    2.50

    Javier Mascherano

    Generally solid in his duties, but careless to give away a late free kick that Malaga converted to wreck his side’s chances of a clean sheet.

  • Busquets
    256
    21
    4.00

    Busquets

    A huge part in the result for the Catalans, as his work in defence stopped Malaga in their tracks time and time again. He always appeared in the thick of the action, and showed no hesitation at all to put his foot in and make a crucial tackle.

  • Messi
    457
    50
    4.00

    Messi Top of the Match

    Simply outstanding once again. Opened the scoring with an opportunistic strike from a loose backpass to send Barca into half-time with the lead. Just as influential after the break, with a lovely clip to set up Fabregas’ goal, and a neat one-two with Thiago to assist the third.

  • Pedro
    131
    48
    2.50

    Pedro

    Though his movement was an asset as always, he simply did not display enough quality on the ball to really drive his team on in an attacking sense.

Substitutions

  • Thiago Alcántara
    225
    14
    3.00

    Thiago Alcántara

    Came off the bench to finish the game with a well placed strike from the edge of the area, after a neat exchange with Messi.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    121
    75
    2.50

    Alexis Sánchez

    Did not quite live up to the awesome attacking display put on by his team-mates, and spurned a late chance for a fourth.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0