Result: Malaga 1-4 Barcelona

Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Barcelona have keep the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-1 win at Malaga.

Barcelona have kept the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-1 win at Malaga.

Alexis Sanchez had an early opening for the visitors, but his header was easily saved by Willy Caballero.

Lionel Messi nearly made the breakthrough for Barca soon after when his effort flew past the post.

Victor Valdes was then called into action twice to save Isco's shot from outside of the box and then the striker's header from the resulting corner.

However, Barcelona were ahead at the break when Messi powered a header from Adriano's cross into the net.

Pep Guardiola's side went on the attack instantly in the second half and were rewarded on 48 minutes when Sanchez was first to the rebound after Thiago's shot had been saved.

The game was all but over two minutes later when Messi went on a typically winding run before firing in.

The Argentine grabbed his hat-trick with 10 minutes to go with a cool finish after another slaloming run.

The hosts netted a consolation five minutes from time when Jose Rondon slotted in the rebound after Isco's shot had been saved by Valdes.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AlavesAlaves00000000
2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
4Barcelona00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
7EibarEibar00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10GironaGirona00000000
11Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
12Leganes00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000