FC Barcelona made the trip down to Malaga for Sunday evening’s match in the Spanish league. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was resting some key players ahead of the Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday, including Carles Puyol, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas; in their place were some of Barcelona’s youngsters instead, who must welcome the opportunity to show what they are capable of too.
The match started with both teams having some opportunities to score. Early on Malaga threatened the Barcelona goal but Valdes got his hands to the ball and pushed it over the crossbar. After the corner that followed Valdes blocked a shot at the goal and then stopped the follow-up off the rebound Real Madrid Full Match.
However Barcelona soon started dominating possession as usual and around the half-hour mark Iniesta and Adriano set up a goal for Leo Messi to make the score one nil to the Catalans. It wasn’t until the second half that Barcelona was able to open up that gap, when they came on full of energy, something that often seems to happen. Whether Guardiola gives them a “pep” talk during the break, or whether it is down to some other reason, Barcelona often seem to come on far more invigorated than any other team and get down and score in this period of the match.
Alexis scored just two minutes after play had resumed and three minutes later Messi followed up with his second goal too. The scoreline effectively meant the game was over from Malaga – but it wasn’t over for Messi. He kept on working away, with his efforts finally rewarded around the 80 minute mark, when he scored his third goal of the match. A few minutes later Malaga were able to claw back one goal of their own, but it was much too late to get back into the game and salvage any points.
On Wednesday Real Madrid visits the Nou Camp in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final. Since last week’s match Jose Mourinho has come in for a lot of flak from fans and press alike. He’s also reportedly had a bust up with some of the players which means that morale may be low. We’ll see what happens on Wednesday, but Real Madrid did win their match against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night. They remain 5 points ahead of Barcelona in the Spanish league table.