Match ends, Barcelona 1, Málaga 0.
Thomas Vermaelen was Barcelona's unlikely goalscorer as the Spanish champions finally broke Malaga's resistance to win their opening home league fixture.
Barcelona failed to score in either league game against Malaga last season.
A repeat looked increasingly likely as goalkeeper Carlos Kameni denied Lionel Messi four times in the second half.
But with 18 minutes to go ex-Arsenal defender Vermaelen volleyed his first Barcelona goal to secure the points.
Vermaelen has endured a difficult time at Barcelona since signing from Arsenal last August.
Injury restricted the Belgium international, 29, to just one appearance last season.
But he has started both of Barca's league games so far at the start of their title defence and prompted huge relief around the Nou Camp when he finally found a way past Kameni.
The Cameroon international stood firm against Messi but when he pushed away a Luis Suarez cross at full stretch, Vermaelen showed fine technique to strike the winner from 15 yards out.
Barcelona were denied what looked a strong penalty appeal in the first half when Suarez was challenged by Marcos Angeleri after Javier Mascherano, who has never scored for Barca, had headed against the bar.
Malaga looked dangerous on the break and almost went ahead through a spectacular long-range effort from Juan Carlos which landed on the roof of the net after 20 minutes.
Patience pays off
Thomas Vermaelen cost Barcelona £15m when he signed from Arsenal on a five-year contract in August 2014.
A serious hamstring injury delayed his debut until the final game of Barca's La Liga title success.
He may not be an automatic choice this season with Gerard Pique to return from injury.
But the former Ajax defender is likely to get his share of games and he won some goodwill with the supporters with his winning goal against Malaga, the 27th of his club career.
- 20Roberto Carnicer
- 23VermaelenSubstituted forMathieuat 90'minutes
- 4RakiticSubstituted forRafinhaat 63'minutes
- 11NeymarSubstituted forRamírezat 87'minutes
- 1ter Stegen
- 17El Haddadi
- 3Pena de OliveiraSubstituted forAlbentosaat 25'minutes
- 23TorresBooked at 90mins
- 10da Luz HortaSubstituted forAñor Acostaat 73'minutes
- 12TissoneBooked at 89mins
- 14García del PozoBooked at 43mins
- 7Pérez López
- 11N AmrabatSubstituted forDias de Oliveiraat 54'minutes
- 5Gomes Fonseca
- 9Dias de Oliveira
- 17Barbosa Valente
- 28Añor Acosta
- Santiago Jaime Latre
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Barcelona 1, Málaga 0.
Attempt missed. Charles (Málaga) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Carlos.
Miguel Torres (Málaga) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Miguel Torres (Málaga).
Substitution, Barcelona. Jeremy Mathieu replaces Thomas Vermaelen.
Fernando Tissone (Málaga) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).
Offside, Barcelona. Rafinha tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.
Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fernando Tissone (Málaga).
Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Juan Carlos (Málaga).
Substitution, Barcelona. Sandro Ramírez replaces Neymar.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Carlos Kameni.
Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Neymar.
Offside, Barcelona. Rafinha tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Duje Cop (Málaga) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Fernando Tissone with a headed pass.