Match Analysis: Malaga 2-4 Barcelona (Barcelona advance 6-4 on aggregate)

Lionel Messi celebrates a goal for Barcelona in the game against Malaga on January 13, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole dissects the action as Barcelona book their spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 4-2 win over Malaga.

Barcelona will face Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after recording a 4-2 win over Malaga on Wednesday.

The away side took the lead early on through Pedro, but Malaga were level moments later when Joaquin advanced into the box before firing his effort into the bottom corner.

Barcelona once more took the lead on the night through Gerard Pique early in the second period, but Malaga levelled it up through Roque Santa Cruz after 68 minutes.

Barcelona secured their passage with late goals from Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, however, to advance with an aggregate score of 6-4.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Spanish rivals.

Match statistics:

Malaga:
Shots: 7
On target: 4
Possession: 30%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 21

Barcelona:
Shots: 15
On target: 9
Possession: 70%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 8

Was the result fair?

It would be difficult to argue that Barcelona did not deserve to secure their spot in the semi-finals this evening. The tie was so delicately poised from the first leg, but you never thought that the Catalan outfit were vulnerable. Even when Malaga levelled the tie 20 minutes from time, Barcelona regrouped and secured the win with two late strikes.

Malaga's performance

The Malaga supporters will certainly not have too many complaints about their team's performance this evening. They matched Barcelona for large periods of the evening, but just came up short when it really mattered. They certainly missed the imagination of Isco, while their forward players did not really influence proceedings until the final stages. They gave it everything which is all that the fans will ever ask for.

Barcelona's performance

Barcelona were not at their best in the first period as they struggled to find their passing rhythm, but you always felt that they were capable of turning on the style. That was the case as they scored early in the second half to give themselves a huge chance of making the final four. The fact that it wasn't one of their best performances and they still scored four goals against the second-best defence in La Liga speaks volumes.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Andres Iniesta: The Spanish maestro was just magic this evening. If it wasn't for Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo then he would be the best player in the world. He scored his side's third of the evening and was their main creative force once more.

Biggest gaffe of the match

Malaga simply switched off in the early stages of the second period as they allowed Pique to drift into space and fire Barcelona into a 2-1 lead. It came at a crucial stage in the tie and ultimately had a major effect on the overall result.

Referee performance

Antonio Mateu had a bit of a mixed bag this evening. He was called into action on a number of occasions as the tackles continued to fly in, but he was prepared to keep his cards in his pocket for the most part. He also rightly turned down a couple of penalty shouts in the first period.

What next?

Malaga: Malaga return to league action on Sunday when they travel to face struggling Real Mallorca.

Barcelona: The Catalan outfit also resume league action at the weekend as they host lowly Osasuna on Sunday.

Andres Iniesta
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Malaga 2-4 Barcelona (4-6) - as it happened
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2Valencia11001013
3Athletic Bilbao00000000
4Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Barcelona00000000
6Celta Vigo00000000
7Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
8EibarEibar00000000
9Espanyol00000000
10Getafe00000000
11GironaGirona00000000
12Levante00000000
13Malaga00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Villarreal00000000
19AlavesAlaves100101-10
20Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10