Barcelona vs Malaga : Picture gallery and best moments
Barcelona went ahead Atlético Madrid to go top of La Liga table after Lionel Messi’s acrobatic volley secured a hard-earned 2-1 victory against a challenging Málaga on Saturday.
Munir El Haddadi, deployed up front instead of the injured Brazilian superstar Neymar, put Barça ahead just in the second minute mark of the Barcelona vs Malaga la liga clash at the Rosaleda Stadium on the south coast after a really smart work from Luis Suárez.
However, the visitors were somewhat unable to exert their usual control and 12th-placed Málaga, whose relentless pressing rattled the Spanish and European champions, netted an equally deserved equaliser in the 32nd minute of the Barcelona vs Malaga match.
Javier Mascherano surrendered possession quite surprisingly in a dangerous area and the ball lethally fell to the midfielder Juanpi, whose shot was then deflected in off the former Liverpool player as he readily slid across to block.
Messi was back in the squad after sitting out Wednesday’s 2-1 Copa del Rey victory at Athletic Bilbao as a secondary precaution but the Ballon d’Or winner was rather anonymous in the first half.
Barça were much improved in the second half and took a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute of the Barcelona vs Malaga match when Messi sent Adriano’s cross past the home goalkeeper, Carlos Kameni.
The Argentina legend was falling away from the ball as it thumped to a drop and he caught it perfectly on the volley to send it arrowing clinically into the corner for his 11th goal of a somewhat injury-disrupted campaign.
The Barça keeper, Claudio Bravo, then did brilliantly well to palm away a solid shot from Ignacio Camacho in the 73rd minute mark and Kameni denied Messi a second goal with a superb one-handed save just two minutes from time.
“We perhaps didn’t deserve to be drawing 1-1 at the break considering what we did and what they did in the first half,” Barça’s captain, Andrés Iniesta, told Spanish television.