MX23RW : Thursday, September 16 19:53:51| >> :120:4998:4998:
Jan 13, 2013 at 8pm UK at Estadio La Rosaleda
FT(HT: 0-1)
Fábregas (50'), Messi (27'), Alcantara (82')

Match Analysis: Malaga 1-3 Barcelona

Match Analysis: Malaga 1-3 Barcelona
© AP Photos
Sports Mole dissects the action as Barcelona record a 3-1 win over Malaga on Sunday.

Barcelona made it 18 wins from 19 league matches with a 3-1 win over Malaga on Sunday.

A tight opening period brought just the single goal as Lionel Messi collected a poor back-pass from Ignacio Camacho before rounding Willy Caballero and finding the back of the net.

Barcelona started the second period with pace and purpose and they were 2-0 ahead in the early stages when Cesc Fabregas finished off a sweeping move, before Thiago added a third late on.

Malaga did have a consolation in the final minute from a Diego Buonanotte free kick, but it was a case of too little too late.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two sides.

Match statistics:

Shots: 4
On target: 2
Possession: 36%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 17

Shots: 10
On target: 4
Possession: 64%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

It is difficult to argue that Barcelona did not deserve to win this match. It was not a game of many clear chances, but the Catalan outfit were always in control of proceedings. Even when Malaga improved in the latter stages, the manner in which Barcelona defended was something to be admired. The away side were just on a different level this evening.

Malaga's performance

Malaga were unlucky to concede the opening goal considering the situation, but they never really offered any indication that they were capable of taking the game to Barcelona. They were nice and tight in defence throughout the evening, but the magic in the final third was the difference. The major disappointment will have been their inability to test the Barcelona goalkeeper.

Barcelona's performance

The Catalan outfit were sensational this evening. Just about as good as it gets in terms of an all-round away performance. They were comfortable in possession and picked Malaga's pocket each time they had the opportunity to pounce. The best defence in the league were taken apart by the best team in the world in this match.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Lionel Messi: The Argentine was in stunning form once more as he scored the opener before laying on the second for Fabregas. He is just a stunning all-round footballer. It is difficult to put his performance into words.

Biggest gaffe of the match

Not a difficult one. Camacho had an absolute horror show in the first period as he attempted to find his goalkeeper with a back-pass, only for Messi to nip in and round Caballero before finding the back of the net. It was just criminal from the Spanish midfielder.

Referee performance

Carlos Delgado had a successful 90 minutes of action this evening. During a high-tempo match, the Spaniard kept up with the play and was prepared to let the game flow in the correct areas. Neither side will have had any complaints about his performance.

What next?

Malaga: Malaga travel to Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final on Tuesday before returning to league action at home to Celta Vigo next Saturday.

Barcelona: As mentioned, Barcelona host Malaga in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday before travelling to Real Sociedad in the league next Saturday.

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Lionel Messi celebrates a goal for Barcelona in the game against Malaga on January 13, 2013
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Live Commentary: Malaga 1-3 Barcelona - as it happened

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