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Barcelona brushed aside a struggling Malaga

Thanks to goals from Gerard Deulofeu and Andres Iniesta on Saturday evening.

This top versus bottom La Liga clash was, as expected, smooth sailing for Barcelona, who controversially took the lead after just two minutes. The Malaga players had stopped in their tracks expecting a corner to be given when Digne reached the left byline before cutting back for Deulofeu, but nothing was given allowing the winger to tuck home from close range.

After seeing replays, the visitors were right to be furious with the officials as the ball clearly went out of play in the build-up.

Malaga responded well to the setback and came close to netting an immediate equaliser. Roberto Rosales whipped in a corner and Diego Rolan rose highest to meet it, but he headed just wide.

Despite some scintillating moves from Barcelona, clear-cut chances were few and far between for the hosts in the first period, with Deuolofeu’s strike their sole attempt of the opening 45 minutes.

It was Malaga who came closest to bagging an equaliser on the half-hour mark. Juankar drove down the left and curled in a lovely delivery that Gonzalo Castro tried to glance into the far corner, but he couldn’t get enough on his flick and it flew wide.

The ‘Albicelestes’ wasted another huge opportunity to equalise just before half-time when Roberto Rosales got to the right byline and clipped in a cross towards the far post. An unmarked Castro was ready and waiting, but he but he completely miscued his effort and the opportunity went begging.

After the restart, Barcelona continued to dominate possession and soon doubled their lead thanks to veteran midfielder Iniesta. Messi broke through the middle and played in the Spaniard, who unleashed a left-footed strike that was deflected over the outstretched Andres Prieto.

That didn’t stop a spirited Malaga side from creating chances, though, and they could have had a penalty with 25 minutes to play. Juankar crossed towards Keko, whose first effort was blocked by the hand of Digne, but he didn’t appeal and proceeded to fire the rebound straight at Ter Stegen.

Suarez then had chance to put the game to bed when Sergi Roberto squared for him to set up a tap in, but the striker somehow managed to drag his shot wide, all but summing up his poor start to the season.

On 75 minutes Hernandez drifted a header agonisingly wide of the post, with what was ultimately Malaga’s final opportunity to put the pressure on Barcelona in the dying minutes.

Despite not being one of their most inspiring performances, the league leaders closed out the game with ease to pick up all three points. Malaga gave a decent account of themselves, but their struggles continue at the bottom of the table.

Barcelona brushed aside a struggling Malaga
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