The home side defended well for large periods of the first half, but a long-range Adriano strike left Barcelona ahead at the interval.
Both sides had opportunities in the second period, but neither could add to the scoring as Barcelona held on for all three points.
Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Spanish rivals.
On target: 3
On target: 11
Was the result fair?
On the balance of play, it is difficult to argue that Barcelona did not deserve to pick up all three points this evening. It wasn't the best match that you will ever see, but Barcelona cannot be on top form every week. Good teams win when they don't play well, which was the case with the away side. Despite Malaga's troubles, they did give a good account of themselves in front of their own supporters.
Having had such a turnaround of players in the summer, it was always going to be a difficult season for Malaga. They lost their opener to Valencia last weekend, but put in a much-improved display this evening. Barcelona struggled to break them down in the first period, but they did find it difficult to cause the away side problems down the other end. Their season now starts next week against Sevilla.
The Catalan outfit were not at their best this evening, far from it, but they managed to squeeze out the three points, which is what champions do. They needed a wonder strike from Adriano to secure the victory, but they did have opportunities to make it more comfortable in the second period. Another week of La Liga football, another three points for the Catalan outfit.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Antunes: The Portuguese full-back might have been on the losing side this evening, but he was the star performer on his home patch. Against the pace of Alexis Sanchez, the left-back won most of the battles, while he also provided an outlet in the final third. The 26-year-old is one of the most dependable performers in the division.
Biggest gaffe of the match
On first look, Adriano's effort whipped into the bottom corner from outside the box. However, having had time to dissect the goal, Malaga stopper Willy Caballero would be disappointed that he did not push the strike around the post. The Argentine was one of the best stoppers in the league last season, but he has already had a couple of uncertain moments in the new campaign.
Antonio Mateu had a positive 90 minutes of action this evening. The Spaniard was forced to award a number of free kicks during a bitty spell in the first period, but he was sensitive to the occasion and therefore was unwilling to look to his notebook despite calls from both sets of players. Mateu did issue a number of cards in the second period, but it would be difficult to criticise his performance.
Malaga: Malaga will attempt to record their first points of the season when they travel to the Estadio Ramon to face Sevilla next Monday.
Barcelona: The Catalan outfit contest the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday before travelling to Valencia in the league next Sunday.