Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-2 Malaga - as it happened

Lionel Messi celebrates a goal for Barcelona in the game against Malaga on January 13, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of tonight's Copa del Rey quarter-final clash between Barcelona and Malaga at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona welcomed Malaga to the Nou Camp on Wednesday in the first leg of their quarter-final clash in the Copa del Rey.

The home side could have led 2-0 inside 20 minutes, but found themselves behind after 26 minutes when Manuel Iturra converted from close range.

However, two goals in two minutes, from Lionel Messi and Carlos Puyol, ensured that Barcelona led at the interval.

Chances remained at a premium in the second period, but a header from Ignacio Camacho in the final minute made it 2-2 ahead of the second leg.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

8.22pmEvening all! Our Copa del Rey coverage continues this evening as Barcelona welcome Malaga to the Camp Nou. The two sides met in the league just three days ago, with goals from Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago sealing a 3-1 win for Barcelona. Furthermore, Barcelona’s three strikes against Malaga made it 15 goals in their first four games of 2013.

8.24pmThe Blaugrana are the current holders of the Copa del Rey having beaten Athletic Bilbao in the final of last year’s competition. There is an added incentive in this match with the winner of the tie due to face Real Madrid or Valencia in the next round. It appears that it will be the Spanish champions with Jose Mourinho’s side picking up a 2-0 win on Tuesday.

8.26pmIn Barcelona’s way this evening is a Malaga side that began the season in financial and ownership turmoil, but they have since qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League in addition to their spot in the final eight of this tournament. They also currently sit in fifth position in the league, just three points behind fourth-placed Real Betis.


BARCELONA: Pinto; Montoya, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano; Song, Thiago, Iniesta; Messi, Tello, Sanchez

MALAGA: Kameni; Weligton, Sanchez, Gamez, Portillo; Iturra, Buonanotte, Camacho, Eliseu; Fernandez, Saviola

0 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. A quick recap of the main team news. Barcelona name a strong side with Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta all starting. Meanwhile, Malaga rest some of their big-name players, but still include Eliseu and Ignacio Camacho, despite his mistake about Barcelona at the weekend. The home side get the action underway.

2 minBarcelona have taken control of the early possession as you would expect. The league encounter between these two sides at the weekend was a close affair, but the quality of the finishing was the difference. You just get the feeling that Malaga need to stay in this tie ahead of the second leg. An away goal would also certainly make things interesting.

4 minThe home side continue to pass and probe in the Malaga half with Iniesta and Song enjoying plenty of the ball. The former attempts to find Messi with a searching pass, but Sergio Sanchez just comes across to clear the danger. Malaga will feel that they can cause problems to the home side on the counter-attack.

6 minIt is good to see Diego Buonanotte given a start for Malaga this evening. The Argentine, who is good friends with Messi, has scored three goals in his last two games, including a wonderful free kick against the Catalans at the weekend. However, he has not seen much of the ball thus far with Barcelona passing and probing outside the box.

7 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side to take the lead as Thiago darts into the penalty area before lifting his effort over Kameni, but Weligton gets back to make a fine clearance. That is fantastic defending from the Brazilian. The match has just started to liven up following a slow opening.

9 minCHANCE! A quite incredible miss from Sanchez. Again it is sensational football from the home side as Messi slides a low pass into the penalty area towards the Chilean, but somehow he fires it over the crossbar when it looked easier to score. Barcelona could have scored twice in the last couple of moments.

11 minMalaga attempt to cause some unease in the Barcelona defence as Puyol presents possession straight to Eliseu outside the box, but Adriano is across to clear the danger. Another half-chance emerges for the home side moments later as Messi breaks with Sanchez, but the latter cannot find the run of Tello and the danger is cleared.

13 minBig penalty shout for the home side as Sanchez appears to be felled in the penalty area by Weligton, but the referee comes across to book the Chilean rather than awarding the penalty. In truth, replays have not cleared up the decision either way. Lively opening 13 minutes to this match, but the score remains level at 0-0.

15 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Iniesta floats a lovely pass behind the Malaga defence, but the offside flag is raised with Messi approaching Kameni. Nothing much from Malaga as an attacking threat thus far, although they will feel that they can cause problems as the match advances. Barcelona are just in such imperious form at the moment as Sanchez is forced to head behind his own goal from a Thiago cross.

17 minBarcelona continue to threaten as Iniesta dances past two challenges before finding Thiago on the edge of the box, but his effort is smashes straight against Iturra. The pressure remains as Tello comes inside to find Messi, but good pressing from Malaga forces the Catalan outfit to come deep.

19 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments. Barcelona are dominating the possession as you would expect, but Malaga appeared to have plugged some of the early gaps. A reminder that nothing will be decided this evening with the second leg taking place next week. Away does do indeed count double which makes a Malaga strike all the more important.

21 minCHANCE! The home side create their third clear chance of the match as Messi picks up possession before driving to the edge of the box, but his effort is just high of the target. Kameni could just stand and stare. This is the best defence in La Liga, and Barcelona could be 3-0 ahead inside 21 minutes. Incredible.

23 minBarcelona have the ball in the back of the net as Iniesta converts from close range, but the offside flag was raised and play is restarted with a Malaga free kick. We have not seen anything from Saviola inside the opening 23 minutes, while Fernandez has also struggled to influence proceedings. But the longer the score remains 0-0, the more confidence that the away side will gain.

25 minSlightly untidy period of the match at the moment with Malaga halting the Barcelona tempo with a host of free kicks in and around the centre circle. They have certainly quelled the attacking threat in recent minutes, but Barcelona continue to dominate the possession. The first goal - if there indeed is one - could have a huge effect on proceedings this evening.

25 minGOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Malaga (Iturra)

26 minOH MY WORD! Malaga take the lead in the Nou Camp as Iturra takes possession from Thiago before striking his effort into the bottom corner. It was not the best of passes to the Spanish midfielder, but his touch was not of his usual standard. Malaga have their away goal.

28 minYou just had the sense that something like that was coming. Barcelona have had three glorious chances to open the scoring thus far, but could not take a single one. Malaga have their first effort on target and they take the lead. It is the away goal that they desired. This match is so delicately poised as things stand, but nothing will be decided this evening.

29 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Malaga (Messi)

30 minWell, the Malaga need did not last long. It's wonderful from Messi as the Argentine darts past the challenge of two defenders before curling his effort into the bottom corner. When was the last match that Messi did not score? As long as he is playing, then you will always have a chance.

30 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Malaga (Puyol)

31 minOh my good grief. Barcelona have turned this match around as Puyol meets a Thiago corner before thumping his header into the back of the net. The Spaniard had to ark his body to meet the ball and he did so with such execution. Two goals in the space of two minutes.

33 minFinally time to take a breath here as Eliseu is booked for a challenge on Montoya. What on earth will the away side be thinking? Well, they have their away goal. That is the good news, but you just get the feeling that they need to steady themselves until the interval. Another goal at this stage and Barcelona could blow them away in the second period.

35 minBarcelona attempt to secure their third as Messi collects a pass from Iniesta before driving into the penalty area, but the flag is raised. The Argentine lets his displeasure known, but he gains a yellow card for his words. Moments later Tello drives into the Malaga box, but Weligton is across to make a fine challenge.

37 minIniesta continues to weave his magic as he dances past the challenge of two defenders before driving into the box, but this time Kameni is out to clear for a corner. The resulting set piece is taken by Thiago, but Weligton heads clear. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining in the first period.

39 minBarcelona continue to dominate the possession as we approach the latter stages of the half. What an incredible end to the opening period we have had. Although Malaga will be feeling sorry for themselves, they have an away goal to their name. The problem is that the home side look capable of scoring each time they attack.

41 minCHANCE! WOW! It is an absolute horror show from Sanchez as the winger meets a low cross from Thiago, but somehow fires his effort over the crossbar. He has missed two clear chances in this opening period. That is one of the misses of the season without question. Incredible turn of events.

43 minBarcelona come close once more as Tello picks up possession before driving into the penalty area, but Gamez comes across to make the clearance. The resulting corner is fired into the penalty area, but Kameni comes out to punch clear. It is all one-way traffic in the latter stages of the first period.

45 minMalaga just cannot keep hold of possession at the moment as Barcelona continue to pass and probe along the edge of the penalty area. They are just a sensational team, it is as simple as that. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-1 Malaga

9.18pmOne word to describe that opening period would be wow. Malaga took the lead after 26 minutes with a fine finish from Iturra, but two goals in two minutes moved Barcelona into the lead. The first half has been played at such a high tempo.

9.22pmRight, let's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. Barcelona have dominated the possession with 74%, while they have had eight attempts to Malaga's two. When the dust settles on the first period, Malaga will certainly be pleased with the score as it stands.

9.26pmA reminder that nothing will be decided this evening with the second leg to come next week. However, away goals count double in Spanish cup football and therefore Malaga will be pleased they have secured one this evening. The winner of this tie will face either Real Madrid or Valencia in the semi-finals.

9.30pmLet's just take a look at the benches this evening. Barcelona have the likes of Pedro, Xavi and Fabregas in reserve. Meanwhile, Malaga could introduce Roque Santa Cruz in order to provide some support to Saviola. The match is just so delicately poised as things stand.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. One change at the interval for Malaga with Nacho Monreal replacing Portillo. You just get the feeling that Malaga need to stay within touching distance if they are to have a hope of securing a spot in the final four next week.

48 minBarcelona start the second period on the front foot as Tello drives down the right before whipping a low cross into the box, but Gamez is on hand to clear the danger. Malaga attempt to attack down the other end with Saviola, but the Argentine is denied by Puyol.

50 minBetter from Malaga as Eliseu combines with Camacho before driving into the penalty area, but this time Mascherano is across to clear the danger. Barcelona create a half-chance down the other end as Messi drives a cross into the box, but once more Sanchez cannot find a finish from a difficult angle.

52 minNot too much to report in terms of clear chances in the past few moments with Malaga enjoying a better spell of the possession. Should they score again this evening, then they would really fancy themselves in the second leg. But the problem is that Barcelona will expect to score next week and will certainly expect to add to their tally this evening.

54 minHalf-chance for the away side as Saviola threatens on the counter attack, but the striker just cannot find Eliseu with the winger in all sorts of space down the left. What an opportunity to force an effort on goal. Messi collects down the other end before finding Tello, but the winger is crowded out in the penalty area.

56 minAdriano attempts to force the issue as he strikes an effort from outside the box, but it is straight at Kameni, who is comfortable in gathering the danger. Just signs that the home side are starting to raise their tempo once more with Iniesta dancing into the box. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

58 minThe home side continue to pass and probe outside the Malaga penalty area, but they are not finding the gaps at the moment. Should the scoring remain the same, then Malaga will certainly be the happier of the two sides. But you just get the feeling that the scoring is not finished this evening.

60 minCHANCE! Messi comes close to adding Barcelona's third and his second of the evening as he drives into the penalty area before striking an effort on goal, but Kameni gets a good hand behind the strike to clear the danger. Malaga advance down the other end with Saviola, but his effort is blocked by Puyol.

62 minLittle under 30 minutes of football to play in the Nou Camp and the score remains 2-1 to Barcelona. A reminder that nothing will be decided this evening with the second leg due to take place next week. However, away goals do count double in this competition and therefore Malaga will be the happier outfit as things stand.

64 minHalf-chance for Malaga as Buonanotte whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area. However, Puyol is on hand once more to make a fine clearance before Weligton strikes an effort straight at Pinto. Another away goal would be massive for Malaga. However, another opportunity comes and goes as Eliseu whips a poor corner into the penalty area.

66 minChange for Malaga as Santa Cruz replaces Saviola. The on-loan Manchester City striker has scored some important goals coming off the bench this season. He will certainly provide a physical presence in the final third. Little under 25 minutes of football remaining and Barcelona have possession in the Malaga half.

68 minCHANCE! Another glorious opportunity for the home side to add to their tally as Tello drives into the penalty area, but he cannot find Sanchez in the middle with Weligton clearing the danger. Malaga attempt to find Santa Cruz down the other end, but once more Puyol is across to make the challenge.

70 minAnother change for Malaga as Dudu replaces Buonanotte, who has struggled to influence proceedings in the second period. Right, we have 20 minutes of football remaining and still Barcelona lead 2-1. In truth, there has not been too many clear chances in the second period.

72 minCHANCE! Malaga come close to levelling the score as Fernandez meets a cross from Camacho, but Pinto makes a diving save to deny the winger. The home side's goalkeeper attempts to start a counter attack by finding Messi down the right, but this time the Argentine cannot thread a pass through the Malaga defence.

74 minIt is almost like a training match for Barcelona at the moment as they continue to pass and probe in the Malaga half. That said, the away side are certainly a threat on the counter and would be worth another goal this evening. It was important that they stayed in the tie ahead of the second leg and that is certainly the case as things stand.

76 minMeanwhile, Barcelona make a double change as Tello and Sanchez are replaced by Fabregas and Pedro. Not bad players to have in reserve. Incredible squad. In fairness to Malaga they are the side that is looking more likely to add to the scoring.

77 minRED CARD: Monreal: Malaga are reduced to 10 men as Monreal is dismissed for a last-man challenge on Pedro. It is harsh on the defender who accidently clipped the Spaniard's heels. But he had to go. The resulting free kick is taken by Messi, but it comes to nothing.

79 minEnd-to-end football as Barcelona pass and probe in the Malaga half once more before Camacho gathers and finds Santa Cruz, but the powerful striker cannot turn and shoot with Puyol in close proximity. Meanwhile, the home side make their third and final change of the evening as Xavi replaces Thiago. All three of their subs are holders of the World Cup.

81 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the latter stages of this match. It appears that both sides are prepared to settle for this score. Based on the match as a whole, Malaga will be delighted if they can keep it at 2-1 in the final 10 minutes. But it only takes a second for Barcelona to score.

83 minIniesta attempts to go alone as he picks up possession on the left before driving into the penalty area, but Weligton is across to clear the danger. The away side desperately attempt to put some passes together in the Barcelona half, but they cannot keep hold of the ball as the Catalan outfit force a corner moments later.

85 minHalf-chance for Malaga to create an opportunity as Iturra fires a searching free kick into the penalty area, but once more Puyol rises highest to clear the danger. The break appears to be on for Barcelona as Messi drives down the left, but Weligton is across to clear. Little over five minutes of normal time remaining.

88 minNot too much to report in the final stages of this second period. It has not been the performance we expected from Barcelona in the second period, but Malaga must be given credit for the way that they stemmed the tide. A reminder that the second leg will be contested next week. That will certainly be one not to miss.

89 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-2 Malaga (Camacho)

90 minMalaga equalise! What a moment in the final minute of this match. Duda whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area and Camacho is on hand to thump his header into the back of the net. Wonderful technique. What a result for Malaga.

90 minHalf-chance for Xavi as he strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was always moving wide of the post. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of football.

90 min+2Credit to Malaga, they have taken a gamble in this second period and it appears to have worked. Not too much to report in stoppage time with the away side wasting time with each passing moment. Possibly one more chance for Barcelona to take a lead into the second leg.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 2-2 Malaga

10.22pmSo there we have it. Incredible end to the match as Malaga score in the final minutes to make it 2-2 in the first leg. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and join us for more Copa del Rey football tomorrow. Until then!

Nou Camp
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