Result: Malaga 1-4 Barcelona

Result: Malaga 1-4 Barcelona
© 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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico2012712992043
3Valencia20124441212040
4Villarreal2010462822634
5Real Madrid1895432171532
6Sevilla2010282628-232
7EibarEibar198382431-727
8GironaGirona207672929027
9Getafe207672520527
10Real Betis198383336-327
11Athletic Bilbao206862322126
12Celta Vigo197483327625
13Leganes197481719-225
14Espanyol206681625-924
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16AlavesAlaves2061131629-1319
17Levante203981628-1218
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2042141647-3114
20Malaga1932141333-2011
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