A first-half strike from Brazilian international Adriano gives Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Malaga.
A first-half strike from Brazilian international Adriano was enough to give Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Malaga in this evening's La Liga fixture.
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Both sides were slow out of the starting blocks, with the hosts coming closest in the opening half hour through Vitorino Antunes, whose powerfully-struck free kick forced a save out of Victor Valdes.
Barcelona dominated possession in the first period, but only made it count on the stroke of half time when Adriano gained possession on the edge of the box and fired into the bottom corner.
The second half was a stop-start affair, though the visitors almost doubled their advantage in the 62nd minute when Gerard Pique headed Xavi's free kick against the crossbar.
Malaga came within inches of drawing level 10 minutes later as Roque Santa Cruz rounded Valdes and lined up Fabrice Olinga, but the youngster's effort came crashing back off the post.
The visitors almost salvaged a point in stoppage time when Fernando Tissone headed Antunes's cross towards goal, but Valdes pulled off an impressive save to preserve his side's lead.
Live Commentary: Malaga 0-1 Barcelona - as it happened >