Spanish La Liga
Barcelona3Málaga0

Barcelona 3-0 Malaga

Barcelona v Malaga

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.

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.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1Valdés
  • 22Dani Alves
  • 18Alba
  • 16Busquets
  • 3PiquéBooked at 30mins
  • 14Mascherano
  • 6XaviSubstituted forSergiat 78'minutes
  • 4Fábregas
  • 10Messi
  • 9SánchezSubstituted forAfellayat 87'minutes
  • 7PedroSubstituted forTelloat 61'minutes

Substitutes

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

Málaga

  • 13Caballero
  • 15Angeleri
  • 5Antunes
  • 6Camacho
  • 21Sánchez
  • 4FerreiraBooked at 71mins
  • 26Juanmi
  • 12TissoneSubstituted forDarderat 81'minutes
  • 9Santa CruzSubstituted forPawlowskiat 25'minutes
  • 11PérezBooked at 16minsSubstituted forMoralesat 66'minutes
  • 17Barbosa ValenteBooked at 31mins

Substitutes

  • 1Kameni
  • 8Portillo
  • 14Morales
  • 18Eliseu
  • 19Pawlowski
  • 20Casado
  • 30Darder
Referee:
Carlos Clos Gómez
Attendance:
56,355

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamMálaga
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home23
Away4
Shots on Target
Home10
Away2
Corners
Home15
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 3, Málaga 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Málaga 0.

Corner, Málaga. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

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

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

Foul by Sergi Roberto (Barcelona).

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

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Ibrahim Afellay replaces Alexis Sánchez.

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

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Duda.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Marcos Angeleri.

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

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

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

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

Corner, Málaga. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Málaga. Sergi Darder replaces Fernando Tissone.

Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Xavi.

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

Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Vitorino Antunes.

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

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

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

Booking

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

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

Foul by Flavio Ferreira (Málaga).

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

Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Málaga. Pedro Morales replaces Pablo Pérez.

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

goal

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