Live Commentary: Malaga 2-4 Barcelona (4-6) - as it happened

Live Commentary: Malaga 2-4 Barcelona (4-6) - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final as Barcelona run out 4-2 winners over Malaga.

Malaga welcomed Barcelona in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday with the two sides level at 2-2 from the first leg.

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 moved ahead on the night through Gerard Pique early in the second period, but Malaga levelled it through Roque Santa Cruz after 68 minutes.

The Catalan outfit secured their passage with a late goals from Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, however, to book a semi-final spot against Real Madrid.

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

8.52pmEvening all! Our Copa del Rey continues with the second leg of the quarter-final between Malaga and Barcelona. As mentioned, Malaga enter the match on the front foot having scored twice in the final stages at the Camp Nou last week. However, Barcelona were victorious the last time they travelled to Malaga on January 13. Any win for the away side would see them progress this evening.

8.54pmDespite their success in the first leg, Malaga enter the match in a disappointing run of form. They have lost two of their last six matches in the league, winning just once in 2013. That run of form has seen them relinquish fourth spot to Real Betis. However, they sit just three points from a Champions League position.

8.56pmBarcelona, meanwhile, suffered their first league defeat of the season last time out against Real Sociedad. However, a sensational campaign thus far has left them top of the table, eight points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 15 ahead of current champions Real Madrid. The Catalan outfit are also the reigning champions in the Copa del Rey having defeated Athletic Bilbao in the final last season.


MALAGA: Kameni; Demichelis, Weligton, Gamez; Joaquin, Duda, Itutta, Camacho, Eliseu; Santa Cruz, Fernandez

BARCELONA: Pinto; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Fabregas, Xavi, Busquets; Iniesta, Messi, Pedro

0 minHere we go then. Some match we have on our hands this evening. A quick note on the main team news. Malaga pair Fernandez and Santa Cruz in attack, with Saviola on the bench. Barcelona, meanwhile, play arguably their strongest available side with Iniesta, Pedro and Messi all starting in the final third. The away side get the action underway on this mild evening in Malaga.

2 minHigh-tempo start from both teams with Ignacio Camacho takes control of possession before finding Fernandez in the final third, but Gerard Pique comes across to clear the danger. However, the Malaga possession does not last long as the Catalan outfit begin their passing game.

4 minIt remains to be seen how much of a miss Isco is for the home side this evening. The young Spaniard has been wonderful this season and is reportedly a transfer target for a number of clubs in England. Neither side has really taken control of the early stages of this match. As things stand, Malaga would advance to the semi-finals to face Real Madrid.

6 minHow is this for a statistic? Lionel Messi has only scored one goal on a Thursday in his career. That was this season in this competition. However, unsurprisingly, the Argentine is the favourite to open the scoring this evening. No real chances inside the opening six minutes, but Barcelona have taken control of the possession as they pass and probe in the Malaga half.

8 minIt's good work from Duda as the experienced midfielder finds Joaquin with a fine pass, the Spaniard collects before cutting inside, but Jordi Alba is across to make a fine challenge. The pressure continues with Iturra, but it breaks down at the vital moment. A reminder that Barcelona enter this match having failed to win in their last two games. It's a crisis!

8 minGOAL! Malaga 0-1 Barcelona (Pedro)

9 minStunning, just stunning. That is football of the very highest order as Xavi finds Alves down the right, the Brazilian chips a cross into the penalty area and Pedro is on hand to head into the empty net. Malaga just could not cope with the pace in that attack. Well, that did not take long.

11 minIt is so important that Malaga just steady themselves for the next five or so minutes. However, their two goals in the first leg has given them a strong chance of progressing despite that early strike. Meanwhile, Fabregas appears to have a slight problem here as he is caught in a late challenge by Iturra.

12 minThe referee just has to calm things down here as another challenge comes in from Duda, this time on Busquets. However, the Catalan midfielder did make an awful meal of it. He certainly has previous and therefore the referee does not pay too much attention. Barcelona are really finding their groove here as they pass and probe outside the box.

12 minGOAL! Malaga 1-1 Barcelona (Joaquin)

13 minMalaga level! It's brilliant football from the home side as Joaquin collects a pass from Camacho before turning in the penalty area and firing his effort into the bottom corner. Game on! As things stand, the home side would advance into the final four. What a wonderful match we have on our hands.

15 minYou just get the feeling that there are going to be a host of goals in this match. Barcelona attack down one end with Messi finding Pedro, but it breaks down. Malaga have possession of their own in the Barcelona box moments later, but Santa Cruz cannot gather under pressure from Mascherano.

17 minEnd-to-end football at the moment with both teams attacking with pace and numbers. Barcelona attempt to pass and probe in the Malaga half, but Weligton steps across to clear the danger. Joaquin comes close to creating a shooting opportunity down the other end, but the offside flag is raised. What an opening 17 minutes to this second leg. Brilliant entertainment.

19 minBarcelona have just settled with possession in the last few moments with Iniesta and Xavi combining in midfield. Meanwhile, Iturra dives into another challenge with Fabregas, he just needs to be careful having already picked up a yellow card. Malaga create havoc in the Barcelona box as Joaquin advances, but Pique is across to make a fine challenge.

21 minNo room for the faint-hearted in this match as the tackles continue to fly in. The biggest cheer of the evening erupts as Fernandez comes back to clatter Messi, but fairly in the referee's eyes. Malaga continue to force the issue in the final third, with Barcelona looking far from comfortable. This is a proper cup tie.

23 minNote this one down - Xavi has just given possession away with a poor pass. Put that one in the diary. Barcelona are far from comfortable at the moment as the home side continue to pressure the ball in midfield. But you worry whether they will be able to keep that up for the remainder of this match. A 2-2 draw on the night would take this into extra-time.

25 minA half-chance comes for Barcelona as Alves whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but Weligton is on hand to clear the danger. The away side have started throwing high balls into the box and Messi has lost possession once more. What is happening?!

27 minCHANCE! Glorious chance for Barcelona to score their second as Messi collects a loose pass in the area before striking a powerful effort towards the bottom corner, but Kameni is across to make a fine save. They cannot afford to switch off in this match. It remains 1-1 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate.

29 minI feel as if I am watching a Premier League encounter here as the challenges continue to fly in from both sides. It had been suggested that the Copa del Rey does not really matter to the top teams in Spain. Try telling that to the players. Barcelona fire a high free kick into the box through Xavi, but Weligton heads clear.

31 minMalaga continue to suffocate Barcelona in midfield as Iniesta loses possession to Camacho. The Spaniard attempts to find Santa Cruz, but the on-loan Manchester City striker cannot collect. He really needs to offer more in the final third along with Fernandez. The home side's threat has come from Joaquin thus far.

33 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Gamez whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but Pique is on hand to head clear. Barcelona attempt to break with Fabregas, but the Spaniard is simply given no time to operate with Camacho on him in an instant. But can they continue at this pace for 90 minutes and beyond?

35 minI hate to say it, and I know I will regret it, but Messi has not been in this match thus far. That is credit to Malaga who have controlled the Argentine. However, the last time I made such a statement Messi went onto score moments later. So if that is the case, I am sorry to all the Malaga supporters out there. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and the tackles continue to fly in.

37 minCHANCE! Glorious chance for the home side to take the lead on the night as Santa Cruz meets a cross from Joaquin, but the striker can only turn wide of the post. Barcelona come ever so close down the other end with Iniesta, but the Spaniard smashes his effort against the crossbar.

39 minI am struggling to think of a more exciting Spanish match this season. It has had everything. Rarely do you see a team deal with the threat of Barcelona so comfortably. But you just get the feeling that there are more goals to come in this match. As things stand, however, Malaga will advance to face Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

41 minCHANCE! Another fine chance for the home side as Camacho strikes a powerful effort from outside the box, Pinto parries into his own penalty area, but just manages to collect with Fernandez in close proximity. Meanwhile, Messi is chopped down in the Malaga half moments later.

43 minCHANCE! This time Barcelona come close as Messi pounces on a loose ball in the penalty area before rounding the goalkeeper and appearing to find the bottom corner, but Gamez is across to block the danger at the vital moment. What an incredible end to this half. But the score remains 1-1. I am not sure how.

45 minA mix-up in the Malaga defence allows Alves into the box, but the Brazilian cannot find a cross. The end-to-end football continues with both sides resisting the danger, for now. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Malaga 1-1 Barcelona (3-3 on aggregate)

9.46pmWow. What a first half of action. Barcelona took the lead after eight minutes through Pedro, but Malaga were level moments later courtesy of a fine finish from Joaquin. As things stand, Malaga would advance to the final four courtesy of their two away goals last week.

9.50pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the first period. Barcelona have dominated the possession with 68%, but both sides have had four attempts on goal. However, it will not come as much of a surprise to see that Malaga have committed 14 fouls in that first period, mostly on Messi.

9.54pmWhat about the benches for this evening? Both sides have a host of options in reserve. Malaga could call upon Portillo, Saviola and Buonanotte in the second period. Meanwhile, Barcelona have wealth of talent on their bench with David Villa joined by Thiago and Adriano to name but a few. Both managers have the ability to change things from the sidelines.

9.58pmJust a reminder that we can still have extra-time this evening if the score ends 2-2 on 90 minutes. The winner of this tie will face Real Madrid, who overcame Valencia, in the next round. The other semi-final will be contested by Sevilla and Atletico Madrid. Right, we are just a couple of minutes away from the second half.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes at the interval for either side which is not that surprising based on the first period. Strangely, the next goal in this match would not change a great deal. Barcelona need to score, but Malaga would be just one away from levelling once more. The home side kick us off.

48 minImpressive start to the second period from the home side with Fernandez finding Joaquin in a wide position, the Spaniard fires a dangerous cross into the box, but Pique is on hand to head clear. The pressure remains as Gamez finds Santa Cruz with his back to goal, but he loses possession at the vital moment.

49 minSloppy start from Barcelona with Iniesta handing possession straight to Gamez on the right, the Spaniard finds Joaquin in the opposing half, but he is felled by Busquets. The referee is not interested, however, and waves play on. End-to-end football as the challenges continue to fly in from both sides.

49 minGOAL! Malaga 1-2 Barcelona (Pique)

50 minBarcelona take the lead on the night and indeed in the tie as Pique collects a pass from Iniesta before firing his effort into the bottom corner. That is some finish from the defender. It has been a wonderful week for Pique with the Spaniard becoming a father for the first time this week.

52 minThat is such a cheap goal for Malaga to concede at this stage of the match. It was poor defending it is as simple as that. Just why Pique was allowed so much room in the penalty area will be questioned. The goal has given the away side confidence as they begin to pass and probe outside the Malaga box.

54 minMalaga really need to get more from Santa Cruz in this match with the striker failing to influence proceedings. Another long ball comes into the box from Gamez, but Pique heads clear. The home side have to keep believing that they can score again. However, another goal for Barcelona would all but end the tie.

56 minBarcelona again threaten as Iniesta finds Alves down the right, but the Brazilian just strayed into an offside position. It would not surprise me if we saw Saviola in the next few moments. His movement would cause more problems to the Barcelona defence. You cannot help but feel that there are more goals in this match.

58 minDecent spell from Malaga as Eliseu whips a dangerous cross towards Joaquin, the Spaniard connects, but his effort was always moving high of the crossbar. Messi has a strike from long range down the other end, but it moves high and wide. Little over 30 minutes of normal time remaining.

60 minAnother half-chance comes to Barcelona as Messi meets a cross from Pedro, but he heads straight at the goalkeeper. Yes, Messi heads straight at the goalkeeper. Malaga cause problems down the other end as Santa Cruz finds Fernandez in the box, but Pique manages to stab clear at the vital moment.

62 minThe chances continue to come for Barcelona as Fabregas drives into the box before finding Messi, his attempt is blocked before Alves fires his effort wide of the target. That is poor from the defender. It wouldn't be fair to say that Malaga are holding on at the moment, but not far from it. It is all Barcelona.

64 minBarcelona continue to dominate possession with Iniesta, Xavi and Messi playing the match at their own pace. It is so much harder for Malaga to press the ball while they are behind. However, the home side make their first change of the evening as Duda is replaced by Portillo.

66 minLittle under 25 minutes of normal time remaining and Barcelona lead 2-1 on the evening and 4-3 in the tie. A reminder that a Malaga goal at this stage would take things into extra-time. Messi almost quells that possibility as he dances into the box, but Gamez is across to make a fine challenge.

68 minMalaga just cannot get out of their own half at the moment with every pass just too short. It is a surprise that Santa Cruz is still on the pitch, I don't think I have mentioned his name in a positive way all evening. Surely Saviola should be introduced? This is Barcelona's tie at the moment as they continue to pass and probe outside the Malaga box.

68 minGOAL! Malaga 2-2 Barcelona (Santa Cruz)

69 minMy curse has struck again! I mentioned that Santa Cruz had not been in this match so what happens? The striker advances down the other end before striking a low effort into the bottom corner. Fine finish. That is why he is on the pitch!

71 minThe goal has certainly raised the home supporters as Malaga attack with pace and power. They looked leggy before the strike but now they are first to every ball. A half-chance arrives as Fernandez strikes an effort from close range, but Pinto is on hand to make a fine save. Wonderful entertainment here.

73 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Messi bobs and weaves outside the box before chipping a fine pass towards Alves, but it just skids off the turf and moves out for a goal kick. Malaga advance down the other end with Eliseu, but his cross is just short and Alba thumps clear. Little over 15 minutes of normal time remaining here.

75 minThe referee has a real task on his hands here as the challenges continue to fly in from both sides. Mascherano appears in trouble as the Argentine clashes with Joaquin, but the referee is not interested. The Spaniard has performed well under the circumstances this evening. Will we have a late winner here or are we heading for extra-time?

76 minGOAL! Malaga 2-3 Barcelona (Iniesta)

77 minWonderful, just wonderful from Barcelona. That just about does it for this match as Iniesta combines with Fabregas before thumping a low effort into the bottom corner. Malaga now need to score twice in the final 13 minutes or so to advance. What a killer blow.

79 minBarcelona have now scored at least three goals in their last five matches against Malaga. Stunning record. Barcelona come close once more as Fabregas dances into the box, but Weligton is across to clear the danger. Malaga are preparing to make a double change here.

80 minGOAL! Malaga 2-4 Barcelona (Messi)

81 minA reminder that this Malaga defence is the second-best in Spain's top division this season. So many teams have struggled to break them down, but Barcelona have now scored four. It's the away side's 100th goal of the season as Messi meets a cross from Alves to thump his header into the back of the net.

83 minMalaga have certainly been brave in this match, but they have run out of legs in the final stages. I questioned whether they would be able to keep up their pace from the first period, that has been answered. Meanwhile, the home side make two changes with Piazon and Saviola entering the field in place of Fernandez and Joaquin. Meanwhile, Messi is replaced by Thiago for the away side.

85 minBarcelona continue to pass and probe in the final stages of this match as they prepare to face Real Madrid in the next round. What a stunning match that will be. It is understood that the first leg will take place next week, but the official date has not yet been released. You can be sure that we will be covering it.

87 minNot too much to report in the latter stages of the match with Barcelona controlling the possession. Meanwhile, the away side make their second change as Alexis Sanchez replaces Pedro, who has continued his scoring run this evening. Little over three minutes of normal time remaining.

90 minBarcelona make their third and final change of the evening as Alba is replaced Adriano, not a bad change to bring on. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes of time.

90 min+2Not too much to report in stoppage time with Barcelona running down the clock with possession. Malaga were in this match for large periods, but sheer quality has decided the tie. A reminder that Barcelona will play Real Madrid in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla will contest the other final-four clash.

90 min+2FULL-TIME: Malaga 2-4 Barcelona (Barcelona advance 6-4 on aggregate)

10.48pmSo there we have it. A pulsating second period is brought to an end with Barcelona winning 4-2 on the night and 6-4 on aggregate. Be sure to check out our match report here. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and join us for more Spanish football this weekend. Good evening!

Tito Vilanova
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