Jan 26, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
3-0
Malaga
Pique (40'), Pedro (55'), Sanchez (61')
Pique (30')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Perez (17'), Duda (31'), Ferreira (71')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 3-0 Malaga - as it happened

Live Commentary: Barcelona 3-0 Malaga - as it happened
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's commentary of the La Liga clash at Camp Nou where Barcelona beat Malaga 3-0.

Barcelona welcomed Malaga to the Camp Nou on Sunday evening knowing that three points would see them return to the top of the La Liga table.

The home side dominated proceedings in the first period and led at the interval courtesy of a close-range finish from Gerard Pique.

It was 2-0 in the early stages of the second when Pedro curled one into the bottom corner, before Alexis Sanchez made it 3-0 just past the hour mark.

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


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7.52pmEvening all! Our final live La Liga commentary of the evening comes from the Camp Nou as Barcelona welcome Malaga. The Spanish champions have dropped to third in the table following wins for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid this weekend, but would return to the top with three points this evening. Thus far this season, they have won all nine league games in this stadium.

7.54pmMalaga, meanwhile, enter the match off the back of a 0-0 draw with Valencia last Friday. As it stands, they sit in 16th position in the table having won just five of their 20 matches, losing nine times in the process. Last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists have struggled on the road, meanwhile, with just one win from their 10 league games on their travels.

7.56pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two teams, Barcelona have won four of the last five matches, with the further fixture ending in a draw. The last time the two sides met in this stadium was in June 2013, when Barcelona claimed all three points with a 4-1 win. The Catalan outfit also picked up all three points when they travelled to Malaga earlier this season.

7.58pmTEAMS:

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Alexis, Messi, Pedro

MALAGA: Caballero; Angeleri, S.Sanchez, Flavio, Antunes; Juanmi, Camacho, Tissone, Duda; Perez, Santa Cruz


1 minSo there we have it. Strong Barcelona XI this evening with Lionel Messi, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez all starting. Andres Iniesta is still injured, meaning that Cesc Fabregas starts in central midfield. Malaga, meanwhile, have January signing Pablo Perez in attack alongside Roque Santa Cruz, but Eliseu is on the bench. Right, the away side get the first half underway at the Camp Nou.

2 minIt must be said that there is a sensational atmosphere inside the stadium in the early stages. The supporters know how big a match this is for the home side. However, Malaga are looking over their shoulders at this stage of the season and will be keen to cause an upset. I would be surprised if that was indeed the case. My score prediction is Barcelona 3-0, which would see them return to the top of the table.

4 minFairly low-key opening four minutes to this contest, but Barcelona, as expected, have taken control of the possession. You just get the feeling that Malaga need to hold out in the opening 20 minutes or so and attempt to frustrate the crowd. Pass, pass, pass from Barcelona with four minutes on the clock at the Camp Nou.

6 minFirst opportunity for the home side to threaten from a free kick as Messi is felled by Tissone outside the box. The resulting set piece is taken by Messi, but Antunes is on hand to clear at the vital moment.

8 minCHANCE! First real chance for the home side as Sanchez finds some space inside the Malaga box, but his effort clips the outside of the post. Moments later, Angeleri fells Messi on the edge of the box, but the resulting free kick from Xavi is punched clear by Caballero.

11 minGood spell for Malaga in the last couple of minutes as they enjoy a period of possession outside the Barcelona box. The away side gain a free kick when Perez is felled by Busquets. The resulting set piece is curled towards the top corner by Duda, but Alves is across to make a smart save.

13 minBarcelona continue to control the tempo of the match as they pass and probe outside the Malaga box, but the away side have been alive to the danger thus far. Much of the home side's football is being played just inside the Malaga half. Messi attempts to find Pedro moments later, but Antunes is across to clear.

15 minHere is a statistic for you - Lionel Messi has not scored in La Liga for four months! However, I suspect that might end this evening. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Malaga simply cannot keep hold of the ball as Barcelona press and press.

17 minA draw would not be enough to take Barcelona back to the top of the table this evening. In fact, it wouldn't even take them into second following Real Madrid's win over Granada on Saturday. Malaga have a half-chance as Santa Cruz is the target from a Antunes cross, but the striker cannot collect at the vital moment.

20 minHalf-chance for Malaga as Perez finds some space behind the Barcelona defence, but Alba shows incredible pace to come from nowhere and clear the danger. Barcelona are down the other end with Messi moments later, but Tissone is across to clear. Malaga continue to hold their own with 20 minutes on the clock at the Camp Nou.

22 minCHANCE! Another sight of goal for the home side as Messi collects a loose ball inside the box before attempting to lift his effort over Caballero, but it just moves wide of the post. Barca have had a couple of strong opportunities in the opening 22 minutes of action.

24 minNot good news for Malaga here as Santa Cruz is forced to leave the field with just 24 minutes on the clock. It is certainly an injury as the forward trudges from the field. His replacement is Pawlowski, who will provide slightly more movement in the final third.

27 minOne-way traffic in the last few moments as Caballero is once more forced to palm away a deep cross from Alves, with Messi and Pedro both in attendance. Malaga break down th other end with Perez, but Fabregas fells the Argentine. It remains goalless with 27 minutes on the clock in this La Liga contest.

29 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Fabregas drives into the box before rolling it back to Pedro, but the Spaniard falls to the ground in the act of shooting. Change of studs needed! Malaga are getting the luck at the moment as another deep cross from Alves falls for Antunes, who clears his lines, but the pressure remains.

31 minCHANCE! Opportunity for Malaga to threaten from a free kick as Pique is booked for bringing Pawlowski to the ground just outside the box. However, replays have shown that there was no contract. The resulting set piece is taken by Duda and met by Pawlowski, but Valdes is on hand to make a fine point-blank save.

33 minCHANCE! Opportunity for the home side this time as Alba finds some space inside the Malaga box before attempting to find the top corner, but Caballero is on hand to make a fine save. Chances at either end as the first period continues to gather pace at the Camp Nou.

36 minIt hasn't quite happened for Messi thus far as the Argentine drives past two challenges before losing possession outside the box. The home side continue to pass and probe outside the area, but Malaga are not making it easy for the Spanish champions. Little under 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

38 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Pedro strikes one from outside the box, but his effort is wide of the post. Pedro had another sight of goal moments before, but his header was cleared off the line by Flavio. Brilliant defending from the away side with 38 minutes on the clock, but more frustration for the home supporters.

40 minReally nasty moment for Angeleri as the Malaga defender is caught by his fellow defender Sanchez inside the box. Strangely, the referee awards the away side a free kick, which does not go down well with Barcelona boss Martino. Not too much in terms of clear chances in the last few moments as the first period enters its latter stages.

40 minCHANCE! Another wonderful chance for the home side as Alba's pace takes him into the Malaga box, but his effort just lands on the top of the net. Pique has an opportunity moments later after collecting a corner from Xavi, but Camacho is across to make a fine block at the vital moment.

40 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Malaga (Pique)

41 minBarcelona take the lead in the latter stages of the first period as Pique smashes home from close range following a corner from Xavi. It is harsh on Malaga, but that is football at this level.

44 minThat goal has really knocked the stuffing out of Malaga with the home side now in total control of the possession. It is important that the away side do not concede a second in the final moments of this half. As it stands, Barca would return to the top of the league table.

45 minOpportunity for Barcelona to score a second in the latter stages of the half, but Messi's free kick from outside the box is headed over by Antunes. From the resulting corner, another strike from Messi is deflected wide of the post.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Malaga

8.49pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Barcelona leading courtesy of a close-range finish from Pique after 40 minutes. In truth, the home side could and should be out of sight due to a number of clear opportunities, but Malaga remain in touching distance.

8.54pmSTATISTICS: The home side have dominated the possession with 74%, while they have had 13 attempts - six of which have been on target - to Malaga's two. There has also been three yellow cards in a feisty first period between the two La Liga rivals.

8.59pmBENCH WATCH: Barcelona have a number of attacking options on their bench this evening in the shape of Afellay, Tello, Adriano and Dongou. Meanwhile, Malaga, who have already been forced to make one change with Pawlowski replacing Santa Cruz, have the likes of Portillo, Morales and Eliseu in reserve.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. As it stands, Barcelona would move back to the top of the table, but there is still a lot of football to be played this evening. Right, the home side get the second 45 minutes underway.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. However, I suspect both managers will look to alter proceedings if the score remains 1-0 for the next 20 minutes or so. Bright start from the home side as Pedro drives down the left, but he loses his footing following a challenge with Sergio Sanchez.

50 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but the home side are in total control of the possession. You just get the feeling that a second Barcelona goal would be enough to secure the points. The referee has been called into action to deal with a number of late challenges in the last minute or two.

52 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Malaga to level as Antunes delivers a sensational cross into the Barcelona box, but somehow Alba manages to clear under pressure from Pawlowski. Any touch from the forward would have taken it into the back of the net.

55 minCHANCE! Barcelona come close to making it 2-0 as Sanchez finds some space inside the box before attempting to curl one into the bottom corner, but Caballero is on hand to make a fine low save. Strong pressure from Barcelona in the early stages of the second period.

55 minPOST! Caballero is again forced into making a fine save as the Argentine claws an effort from Fabregas just wide of the post. From the resulting corner, Pique directs a header towards goal, but it smashes the foot of the post. One-way traffic at the moment as the Spanish champions look for their second of the evening.

55 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Malaga (Pedro)

56 minIt had been coming. Barcelona have their second of the match as Messi finds Pedro, who turns inside before curling one into the far corner. Another assist from Messi.

58 minMalaga come close to opening their tally moments later as Duda strikes one from outside the box, but Valdes is on hand to make a smart save. The next goal - if there indeed is one - could be crucial in terms of the final result. Little over 30 minutes of this La Liga contest remaining at the Camp Nou.

61 minSlight concern for Pedro here as the Spaniard is caught in a challenge with Angeleri. However, it does appear that the Barcelona attacker will be fit to continue. You just get the feeling that Malaga need to make a change if they are to get back into this match. At the moment, Barcelona are in total control.

61 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-0 Malaga (Sanchez)

62 minBarcelona have their third as Messi finds Pedro, who takes one touch before rolling a low cross towards Sanchez, who converts from close range. Game over.

64 minThat proves to be Pedro's final involvement as the Spaniard, who had picked up an injury in the second period, is replaced by Tello, who scored a hat-trick against Levante last week in the Copa del Rey. Little over 25 minutes for the Spanish international to make his mark in this La Liga clash.

66 minThe achievement for Malaga at the moment would be to reach the Barcelona half as the home side continue to dominate proceedings. I would be surprised if this was not four or five by the end of the 90 minutes. It is so comfortable for the Catalan outfit as they pass and probe outside the penalty area.

69 minMalaga make their second change of the match as Perez is replaced by Morales for the final 20 minutes or so. Barcelona have a free kick just outside the Malaga box moments later, but Messi's effort is just over the crossbar. Still he waits for his first La Liga goal in four months.

71 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments as the late challenges continue to arrive from Malaga. In truth, the match is a slight non-event at the moment with Barcelona in complete control. They are returning to the top of the La Liga table this evening.

73 minAnother opportunity for Barcelona as Messi is felled on the edge of the box by Flavio, who receives a yellow card for his troubles. The resulting set piece is taken by Xavi, but his effort flashes high of the crossbar. Little over 15 minutes of the second period remaining.

75 minBarcelona want a penalty as Sanchez clashes with Tello inside the box, but the referee is not interested. Not too much in terms of chances in the last few moments as Barcelona remain in total control. Just a reminder that they face Levante in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey next week holding a 4-1 lead from the first leg in Valencia.

78 minHalf-chance for Malaga as Duda delivers a deep free kick into the Barcelona box, but Valdes is on hand to collect at the vital moment. The Barca stopper releases Sanchez down the right, but the Chilean finds Tello in an offside position. Is there to be more goals in the final 10 minutes or so at the Camp Nou?

80 minBarcelona make their second change of the match as Xavi is replaced by the impressive Sergi Roberto, who continues to make an impression in a breakthrough season for the Spaniard. The home side continue to pass and probe outside the Malaga box, but it is more like a training exercise at the moment rather than a La Liga clash.

82 minThe referee has been more involved than he would have liked in the last couple of moments as the challenges continue to arrive from both sides. Malaga make their third and final change moments later as Tissone, who has been booked, is replaced by exciting youngster Sergi Darder. Half-chance for Barca as Messi drives into the Malaga box, but Angeleri is across to clear.

84 minNeither side has been able to put together any sort of tempo in the last 10 minutes or so as each continues to give away sloppy free kicks in the final third. A half-chance arrives for Malaga as Sanchez meets a corner from Duda, but his effort is high of the crossbar. Little over five minutes of this La Liga clash remaining in Barcelona.

87 minBarcelona make their third and final change and it is a popular one as Afellay makes his long-awaited return to the first team following a succession of injuries. The attacking midfielder enters the field in place of Sanchez.

89 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the latter stages, but Barcelona remain in control. In truth, this might have been five or fix if Barca's intensity had not dropped after scoring their third. Pass, pass, pass from Barcelona with 89 minutes on the clock.

90+2 minThe fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. Malaga will seemingly end on a positive as they enjoy a period with the ball in the Barcelona half, but still they cannot test Valdes. Tello has an effort down the other end moments later, but he curls it wide of the post.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Barcelona 3-0 Malaga

9.53pmSo there we have it. Barcelona record a 3-0 win over Malaga to move back to the top of La Liga. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us again tomorrow for more La Liga football. Until then!

Barcelona's midfielder Cesc Fabregas reacts during the Spanish league football match Levante UD vs FC Barcelona at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium in Valencia on January 19, 2014
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2Valencia963025101521
3Real Madrid96211871120
4Atletico MadridAtletico9540145919
5Leganes952283517
6Villarreal95131510516
7Real Betis95131917216
8Sevilla951398116
9Real Sociedad84131917213
10Celta Vigo93241814411
11Athletic Bilbao93241010011
12Levante9252911-211
13Getafe9234111019
14Espanyol8233711-49
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo8224916-78
16EibarEibar9216320-177
17GironaGirona8134713-66
18Las PalmasLas Palmas9207722-156
19AlavesAlaves9108314-113
20Malaga9018420-161