Malaga v Barcelona – story of the match
Lionel Messi missed the match to be with his wife following the birth of their third son.
Barcelona tightened their grip at the top of LaLiga with a 2-0 win at bottom club Malaga, who played for an hour with 10 men.
Even without playmaker Lionel Messi, who was with his wife following the birth of their third son, Barcelona had too much for the hosts.
Luis Suarez headed in a fine opener in the 15th minute before Philippe Coutinho added a second with a neat flick and Malaga midfielder Samuel Garcia saw red following a rash tackle from behind on Jordi Alba.
Tweet of the match
Barça cruising against Malaga. Can’t see Messi getting his place back.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 10, 2018
Star man – Ousmane Dembele
While Suarez and Coutinho produced fine finishes, it was the industrious display of Dembele which caught the eye. The French forward continues to grow following recovery from injury and will have given Chelsea something extra to think about ahead of next week’s Champions League tie.
Moment of the match
Barcelona’s opening goal was of the highest calibre. The ball was worked out to Alba on the left and his lofted pass floated back across towards the penalty area, where Suarez ghosted between the two Malaga defenders to guide a header past Jimenez Roberto.
With Suarez’s goal at the Estadio La Rosaleda, the Uruguay forward has now scored against every team he has faced in LaLiga, some 25 in total.
Malaga: Jimenez Roberto 7 (out of 10), Roberto Rosales 6, Luis Hernandez 6, Ignasi Miquel 6, Federico Ricca 6, Samuel Garcia 4, Manuel Iturra 6, Mehdi Lacen 6, Gonzalo Castro 6, Diego Rolan 6, Youssef En-Nesyri 5. Subs: Maxime Lestienne (for Castro, 61) 6, Ideye Brown (for En-Nesyri 78) 6, Isaac Success (for Rolan, 78) 6.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen 6 (out of 10), Sergi Roberto 6, Gerard Pique 6, Samuel Umtiti 6, Jordi Alba 7, Sergio Busquets 6, Andres Iniesta 6, Ivan Rakitic 7, Lionel Messi 8, Luis Suarez 6, Philippe Coutinho 7.Subs: Andre Gomes (for Sergi Roberto, 74), Lucas Digne (for Alba, 77) 6, Aleix Vidal (for Dembele, 85) 6.
Who’s up next?
Celta Vigo v Malaga (LaLiga, March 18)
Barcelona v Chelsea (Champions League, March 14)