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January 13, 2013
• Estadio La Rosaleda, Málaga
Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
• Attendance: 29323
D. Buonanotte 89'
L. Messi 27'
Thiago Alcântara 82'
Shots on Target
Full time in La Rosaleda. Ignacio Camacho's first half mistake gave Messi a gift to give Barcelona the lead and Cesc and Thiago got on the scoresheet to take the game beyond the hosts. Buonanotte earned a closing stages consolation but it was ultimately a comfortable win for Tito Vilanova's men. The sides face each other on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey, when I'm sure Manuel Pellegrini's men will be out for revenge. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
90' + 1'
Alexis should have scored! The Chilean breaks through on goal and attempts to take the ball round Caballero but the Malaga goalkeeper does well to narrow the angle and the Barca man smashes wide!
Goal Diego Buonanotte
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR MALAGA!! Diego Buonanotte steps up and whips the free kick over the Barcelona wall into the bottom right corner! 3-1!
Opportunity for Malaga to get on the score sheet here. Mascherano took a couple of hacks at Buonanotte on the edge of the box and the hosts have a free kick 25 yards out. Let's see what they make of it.
Messi, Thiago, and Iniesta link-up intricately again on the edge of the box. The ball comes to the latter who attempt to flick the ball down the touchline with a back-heel but the ball deflects into the hands of Caballero, who launches the ball up the field.
Manuel Pellegrini reacts quickly to the Barca goal and takes off Joaquin for Francisco Portillo. Damage limitation perhaps from the Malaga coach.
Goal Thiago Alcántara
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA! Game over. Thiago exchanges a one-two with Alves on the edge of the box before lashing a left-footed strike into the bottom left corner. Caballero no chance. 3-0 Barca.
Frustration really creeping in for Malaga now. Weligton sums this up when he sends Alexis Sanchez into the advertising board at the side of the park with a shoulder barge. How is that not a yellow card?
Buonanotte sees his name in the headlines and looks to have a shot from the edge of the box. His attempt goes wide and it was a bad decision as Isco was in acres of space down the right-hand side.
Another substitution from Barca. Pedro is off and Alexis Sanchez is on. The Chilean bagged a double in the 5-0 win over Cordoba during the week so he'll be eager to continue his goalscoring form tonight.
Iniesta goes on a trademark jinking run through the middle. He takes on two or three defenders before clipping the ball inside but Caballero is sharp off his line to come out and clear the ball out of the box.
First change of the match from Tito Vilanova. Thiago Alcantara is introduced in place of the second goalscorer, Cesc Fabregas.
Barca hoping to stop an unwanted statistic this evening. This season they have not managed back-to-back clean sheets. Another positive to come out of this impressive performance, if they can remain solid for the remaining 20 minutes ofcourse.
Caballero makes an unconventional save. Xavi slides a pass down the left channel for Cesc who's cross-come-shot ends up destined for the top corner, but the Malaga goalkeeper manages to twist his body to tip the ball over the bar.
Yellow Card Busquets
Barca playing some mesmerizing football in the middle of the park at the moment. Messi, Xavi, Cesc, and Iniesta are all involved as they use one-touch passes to bamboozle Malaga.
Manuel Pellegrini makes another substitution. Manuel Iturra comes on in place of Jeremy Toulalan. That change is like for like in the centre of midfield.
What a fantastic tackle from Javier Mascherano. Malaga counterattack at pace and the ball comes to Buonanotte in the centre, but the Barca defender comes in with a thunderous challenge to clear the ball away. There was no margin for error at all there!
Yellow Card Cesc Fàbregas
Cesc Fabregas is shown the first Barcelona booking of the match for a very late challenge on Camacho. He came right through the back of the Malaga man and it was a deserved yellow card.
Malaga make the first change of the mach. Diego Buonanotte is introduced in place of Eliseu.
Great defending from Sergio Sanchez! Messi nutmegs Demichelis on the edge of the are and looks poised to have a crack at goal from a great position but the right-back somehow gets a cross to blocks the Argentine's attempt!
Disappointing. Joaquin's corner is whipped in to the near post but Gerard Pique is there to head the ball clear.
Here he is again. Joaquin drives through the middle and looks to pick out Eliseu with a threaded pass to the left-hand side but Dani Alves comes in to clear the ball out for a corner kick. The Malaga defence come forward for the set-piece.
Jordi Alba gives away a foul on Joaquin. That duel has been one of the most interesting factors of tonight's match. The former Valencia man has probably been Malaga's best player tonight.
Barca looking much more confident after their second goal. Malaga were always in their faces and pressing them before Fabregas' strike but the home side have lost a little bit of heart. They need to pick themselves up as there's still plenty of time to get back into the match.
Yellow Card Camacho
The first yellow card of the match goes to Camacho. Cesc and Iniesta showed some wonderful trickery on the touchline but the man who was at fault for Barca's opener is given a booking for pulling back the former Arsenal man.
That really was a world class pass from Messi. There was one place he could put the ball for Cesc to collect and he found it with ease. Just fantastic.
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Outstanding!! Messi picks up the ball in midfield and clips a wonderful pass over the top of the Malaga defence for Cesc, who bears down on goal before stabbing the ball in off the post! 2-0!
The Portuguese whips the ball towards goal but he ball cannons off the Barcelona wall. Joaquin smashes in the rebound but again the wall remains very solid. Barca claim possession and look to work the ball up the park.
Malaga with another set-piece opportunity now, and it is Joaquin again who is fouled. It looks like the left foot of Eliseu is going to have a crack...
We are back under way at La Rosaleda!
Half time in La Rosaleda. A tightly contested affair is separated by a solitary goal from Lionel Messi at the moment. Malaga giving a good account of themselves against the league leaders but they need to create more in the final third. Join us in 15 minutes for the second period!
Malaga's response to going a goal down has been good. They haven't let their heads go down and they aren't feeling sorry for themselves. However, they need to find some way to test Valdes in the Barca goal.
Xavi passes the ball inside to Messi who only has the goalkeeper to beat. The Argentine looks poised to score but the play is brought back for an offside on the Barcelona captain.
Malaga looking the more likely at the moment. The hosts are probing for an equaliser and are seeing a fair amount of the ball, but Barca are defending in numbers and forcing them into playing the ball out wide. No golden goalscoring opportunites for Pellegrini's men as of yet.
The Malaga fans are giving the referee a lot of stick for failing to award Malaga a penalty kick. Eliseu crossed in from the left-hand side and the ball came off the hip of Gerard Pique inside the box. The home crowd are shouting for handball but it was the correct decision from the official.
The ball is whipped into the box and Martin Demichelis rises high to glance a header towards goal but the ball goes straight into the gloves of the grateful Victor Valdes.
Free kick to Malaga in a great position. Joaquin cuts in from the left-hand side and drives at pace towards goal but he is stopped in his tracks after being tripped by Busquets. Let's see what they can make of this set-piece.
Good defending from Pique. Eliseu, Santa Cruz, and Joaquin all look try and get a shot away on on the edge of the area but the Barca defence remains solid and the former Manchester United man gets the vital tackle in to clear the ball away.
That goal really is a hammer blow to Malaga. They have been terrific in their pressing and in the tempo of their play so far but to concede in that fashion may see the heads go down. They'll need to pick themselves up pretty quickly!
Inches wide from Fabregas! Iniesta twists and turns inside the box and the ball eventually comes to Cesc who lashes a left-footed strike towards the bottom corner, but is misses the post by a whisker!
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! What a horrendous mistake from Ignacio Camacho! The Malaga man picks up the ball in midfield and attempts to play the ball back. However, Messi intercepts the weak pass before rounding Caballero to slot home! 1-0!
Willy Caballero saves again! Fabregas gets into a deep position inside the Malaga half and reverses a pass inside the Iniesta, who side-foots the ball high towards goal, but the goalkeeper makes a solid save.
Fabregas has a crack. He picks up the ball on the 20-yard line and looks to whip the ball into the top right corner but his attempts goes wayward over the bar. It is a testament to Malaga's solid defending that Barca are resorting to long-range strikes.
The match is a little more settled now. Apart from Willy's save from Messi we haven't seen too much goalmouth action. The referee isn't helping matters as he continually breaks up the fluidity of the play by giving petty free kicks.
Malaga are incensed! Eliseu robs Dani Alves of the ball with a great tackle and the hosts counterattack at pace through the middle. However, the assistant referee brings the ball back for a foul on the Barca right-back. That looked like a perfectly good challenge from Eliseu!
A bit of a dodgy moment from Willy. The Malaga goalkeeper runs out from his goal to intercept a pass to Messi. He slides the ball away from outside his box and Pedro is claiming that he touched the ball with his hand. It looked as if the ball came off his knee. Good decision from the ref.
Malaga looking bright on the counterattack here. Santa Cruz in particular has done very well to hold up possession in the final third, which is allowing his team-mates to flood forward in support. It shouldn't be too long until they create a goalscoring opportunity.
Barca string together nine or 10 passes on the edge of the box and the ball comes to Iniesta inside the area. He attempts to jink past Weligon but the Brazilian stole the ball with a vital interception.
What a fantastic pass from Iniesta! He finds space on the left-hand side and fizzes the ball with the outside of his foot into the box but Cesc was just on his heels and couldn't get on the end of the pass. The former Arsenal man was inches away there!
Slick play from Malaga. A nice move eventually sees Santa Cruz lay the ball on a plate for Ignacio Camacho just outside the box. The 22-year-old strikes at goal but he was leaning back and the ball flies over the bar.
Don't forget to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match onto the chat section of our Live Match Centre. Be sure to vent your opinions on Malaga's ban from European football next season. Do you feel it is justified?
Great save from Willy Caballero!! The ball is fizzed into Messi inside the area and the Argentine attempts to take the ball round the Malaga 'keeper, but he remains solid to beat the ball away to safety!
Before the match this evening, 1000 Malaga fans staged a protest walk in opposition against UEFA's decision to ban the club from Europe next season. The club still has European aspirations and they can move back into fourth place with a victory tonight.
Good to see Tito Vilanova back in the dugout. The Barcelona head coach missed the Copa del Rey win over Cordoba as he was in New York receiving treatment for his illness. Sure to be a boost for the players to have their manager back.
Electric opening to the match. Barcelona have attempted to keep the ball in the opening stages but Malaga appear to be really up for this! They are relentlessly pressing the midfield and defence of the visitors.
We are under way at La Rosaleda!
Something has to give tonight. Will it be Barca's free scoring away from home or will it be Malaga's sturdy defensive record?
Barcelona have scored a sensational 61 goals in the Spanish Primera Division so far this campaign.
Malaga have the meanest defence in La Liga. Manuel Pellegrini's side have only conceded 13 goals in the league so far, which is less than any other team.
10 minutes from kick-off now. I'd say it is time for some stats!
Real Madrid drew 0-0 with Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday night so Barcelona have the opportunity to go an astonishing 18 points clear of their Clasico rivals with a victory over Malaga this evening.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Cesc, Messi, Pedro
Malaga (4-2-3-1): Caballero; Sanchez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal; Camacho, Toulalan; Eliseu, Isco, Joaquin; Santa Cruz
THE TEAMS ARE IN.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening. Let's hope we have an entertaining match in store!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Malaga and Barcelona at La Rosaleda.
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