The South American duo, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho sealed the victory for the Catalans as Lionel Messi was absent due birth of his third child. FC Barcelona sank Malaga 0-2 at the La Rosaleda stadium in the La Liga Santander fixture on Sunday. Luis Suarez (15’) goal was hard to gulp down for the Anchovies before Philippe Coutinho (28’) doubled the lead of Catalans to secure the win for the visitors.
The Uruguayan international almost scored at the 13th minute when Paulinho brilliant pass was collected by him. Suarez’s shot was saved equally brilliantly by Malaga’s custodian Roberto.
But two minutes later, Luis Suarez scored from a header as Jordi Alba made an inch-perfect cross from the left flank. Roberto couldn’t keep out the ball as Luis Suarez scored to open the account for the visitors.
Near the half-hour mark, Ousmane Dembele squared the ball to Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho scored in style as he backheeled the ball past Roberto and double the lead for the Catalans.
At the half-hour mark, Malaga was reduced to 10 men as Samu awarded himself a red card due to ugly challenge on Spaniard Jordi Alba. Referee straight away showed the card to Samu to leave the ground.
10 men Malaga had a chance in the 36th minute. Manuel Iturra flicked across to En-Nesyri but the latter’s header from the six-yard box was missed to the left.
Philippe Coutinho kept the Malaga’s stopper busy as he kept attempting to further the lead but couldn’t score.
After 45 minutes of play, Barcelona leads by two goals to home side Malaga as the score-line is in Catalans favour 0-2.
After the resumption of play, Samuel Umtiti could have scored to triple the lead at the 54th minute when his header from close range missed the intended target after Ousmane Dembele clipped the ball to the French defender.
Two minutes later, Malaga had a chance when Diego Rolan through passed to En-Nesyri to the left side. But En-Nesyri left footed shot missed from the left side to keep the scoreline 0-2.
Jordi Alba who earlier assisted Luis Suarez had a chance but he missed at the 73rd minute when his left footed shot from the left side missed the right side of the post.
Few minutes before the end of regulation time, Luis Suarez was booked for a bad challenge on Ignasi Miquel. The referee showed the yellow card to the Uruguayan international and he would be sitting on the bench in the next fixture against Athletic Bilbao.
After the end of the play, FC Barcelona is still at the top of the league and are 11 points clear from second-placed Atletico Madrid. They would be next facing Chelsea at the Camp Nou for the second leg of Champions League on March 15. Lionel Messi would be back in the team for the fixture.
Malaga is at the last spot and is virtually relegated as they are having 13 points from 28 matches. Malaga would be next facing Celta Vigo at the Balaidos stadium on March 18.