Lionel Messi continued his league goalscoring drought as Barcelona went back top of La Liga with a comfortable home win over struggling Malaga.

But Messi, who has not netted in the Spanish top-flight since 28 September, played a key role as Barca moved back above Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

After Gerard Pique volleyed in a first-half opener, the Argentine picked out Pedro to fire into the bottom corner.

And he started the move that saw Alexis Sanchez tap in Pedro's cross.

Misfiring Messi

Lionel Messi has gone 120 days without a league goal - his longest run since 2006-07.

Messi was playing his third La Liga game since returning from a two-month absence with a hamstring injury and, despite spurning a golden first-half chance to beat Malaga keeper Willy Caballero, showed glimpses of returning to the peak of his powers.

Barca were back focusing on playing matters following a turbulent week that saw president Sandro Rosell resign.

Rosell, 49, quit the Catalan giants after a Spanish court decided to investigate the alleged misappropriation of funds in the £48.6m summer signing of Brazil star Neymar, who did not play against Malaga because of an ankle injury.

The routine victory against an away side hovering above the relegation zone means the defending champions lead the Spanish top-flight for a 59th consecutive week.

Gerardo Martino's men move back above Atletico, who beat Rayo Vallecano earlier on Sunday, courtesy of their superior goal difference.

Third-placed Real are one point behind the pair after extending their unbeaten run to 11 matches with Saturday's 2-0 home win against Granada.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Barcelona

  • 01 Valdés
  • 22 Dani Alves
  • 18 Alba
  • 16 Busquets
  • 03 Piqué Booked
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 06 Xavi (Sergi - 78' )
  • 04 Fábregas
  • 10 Messi
  • 09 Sánchez (Afellay - 87' )
  • 07 Pedro (Tello - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Pinto Colorado
  • 15 Bartra
  • 19 Afellay
  • 20 Tello
  • 21 Adriano
  • 24 Sergi
  • 29 Dongou

Málaga

  • 13 Caballero
  • 15 Angeleri
  • 05 Antunes
  • 06 Camacho
  • 21 Sánchez
  • 04 Ferreira Booked
  • 26 Jiménez López
  • 12 Tissone (Darder - 81' )
  • 09 Santa Cruz (Pawlowski - 25' )
  • 11 Pérez Booked (Morales - 66' )
  • 17 Barbosa Valente Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Kameni
  • 08 Portillo
  • 14 Morales
  • 18 Pereira Dos Santos
  • 19 Pawlowski
  • 20 Casado Bizcocho
  • 30 Darder
Ref: Carlos Clos Gómez
Att: 56,355

Match Stats

Shots

23 4

On target

10 2

Corners

15 2

Fouls

13 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Barcelona 3, Málaga 0.

90:00 +3:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Málaga 0.

90:00 +1:36

Corner, Málaga. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

90:00 +1:35

Attempt blocked. Bartlomiej Pawlowski (Málaga) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Juanmi.

90:00 +0:57

Attempt missed. Cristian Tello (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

89:58

Foul by Sergi Roberto (Barcelona).

89:58

Duda (Málaga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:52

Attempt blocked. Cristian Tello (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

87:48

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Cristian Tello is caught offside.

86:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Ibrahim Afellay replaces Alexis Sánchez.

86:03

Offside, Barcelona. Dani Alves tries a through ball, but Francesc Fábregas is caught offside.

85:45

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Duda.

85:10

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Marcos Angeleri.

83:57

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

83:57

Duda (Málaga) wins a free kick on the right wing.

83:35

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

83:35

Bartlomiej Pawlowski (Málaga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:12

Corner, Málaga. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

81:36

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

81:36

Juanmi (Málaga) wins a free kick on the left wing.

80:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Málaga. Sergi Darder replaces Fernando Tissone.

80:07

Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona).

80:07

Vitorino Antunes (Málaga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Xavi.

77:22

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

77:22

Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).

76:40

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Vitorino Antunes.

74:27

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

74:27

Juanmi (Málaga) wins a free kick on the right wing.

71:35

Attempt missed. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

70:36 Booking

Booking Flavio Ferreira (Málaga) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

70:30

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:30

Foul by Flavio Ferreira (Málaga).

67:47

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:47

Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).

66:42

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

66:42

Bartlomiej Pawlowski (Málaga) wins a free kick on the left wing.

66:01

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

65:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Málaga. Pedro Morales replaces Pablo Pérez.

65:01

Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:01

Foul by Ignacio Camacho (Málaga).

63:36

Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

63:36

Foul by Duda (Málaga).

60:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Cristian Tello replaces Pedro because of an injury.

60:07 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 3, Málaga 0. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pedro.

58:26

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Fernando Tissone.

57:35

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

57:00

Delay in match Pedro (Barcelona) because of an injury.

54:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 2, Málaga 0. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

53:49

Attempt blocked. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

53:38

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Xavi with a cross following a corner.

53:05

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

53:04

Attempt saved. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a through ball.

51:24

Attempt saved. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Xavi.

49:04

Hand ball by Marcos Angeleri (Málaga).

48:42

Attempt blocked. Juanmi (Málaga) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Vitorino Antunes with a cross.

47:30

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

47:30

Flavio Ferreira (Málaga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:44

Offside, Málaga. Fernando Tissone tries a through ball, but Bartlomiej Pawlowski is caught offside.

45:45

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Sergio Sánchez.

45:00

Second Half begins Barcelona 1, Málaga 0.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Barcelona 1, Málaga 0.

45:00 +0:27

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Marcos Angeleri.

45:00 +0:26

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

44:58

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Sergio Sánchez.

44:56

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

44:02

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

44:02

Foul by Pablo Pérez (Málaga).

42:59

Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

42:59

Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).

42:28

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

42:26

Attempt saved. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

40:34

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:34

Foul by Bartlomiej Pawlowski (Málaga).

39:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 1, Málaga 0. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a headed pass following a corner.

39:04

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Ignacio Camacho.

39:00

Attempt blocked. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a cross.

38:36

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

38:35

Attempt saved. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a through ball.

36:35

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

36:35

Marcos Angeleri (Málaga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:05

Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:05

Foul by Bartlomiej Pawlowski (Málaga).

34:37

Attempt missed. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

34:25

Attempt blocked. Pedro (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a cross.

32:02

Attempt saved. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a cross.

30:44 Booking

Booking Duda (Málaga) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

30:35

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:35

Foul by Duda (Málaga).

30:26

Attempt saved. Marcos Angeleri (Málaga) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Duda with a cross.

29:28 Booking

Booking Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

29:25

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

29:25

Bartlomiej Pawlowski (Málaga) wins a free kick on the left wing.

28:43

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

28:43

Juanmi (Málaga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:07

Attempt saved. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

24:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Málaga. Bartlomiej Pawlowski replaces Roque Santa Cruz because of an injury.

24:48

Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

24:48

Foul by Pablo Pérez (Málaga).

23:52

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Marcos Angeleri.

21:40

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pedro.

21:05

Offside, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano tries a through ball, but Gerard Piqué is caught offside.

20:24

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Ignacio Camacho.

19:50

Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:50

Foul by Pablo Pérez (Málaga).

15:54 Booking

Booking Pablo Pérez (Málaga) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

15:51

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:51

Foul by Pablo Pérez (Málaga).

14:51

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Marcos Angeleri.

11:56

Offside, Barcelona. Xavi tries a through ball, but Dani Alves is caught offside.

10:35

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Flavio Ferreira.

8:33

Offside, Málaga. Duda tries a through ball, but Sergio Sánchez is caught offside.

8:32

Attempt saved. Duda (Málaga) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

7:43

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

7:43

Pablo Pérez (Málaga) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:16

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

6:16

Roque Santa Cruz (Málaga) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:46

Attempt saved. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top left corner.

5:06

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:06

Foul by Marcos Angeleri (Málaga).

4:56

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

3:18

Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

3:18

Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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