Malaga 1-2 Barcelona: Player Ratings
Defending champions Barcelona travelled to face a tricky fixture at Malaga on the back of a mid-week win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey. A few injuries and suspensions meant that Luis Enrique took a threadbare squad to face a team that had not lost a home La Liga match since November 7.
Lionel Messi, however, returned to a Blaugrana squad bereft of Jordi Alba, Pique and Neymar. Malaga, with the joint-best home defensive record in the league, came into the match in a good vein of form and fancied to take at least a point off Barca.
Munir el-Haddadi, the surprise top scorer in the King’s Cup, notched an early goal and things were looking bleak for the Andalusians, who had won only once against Barcelona in their previous twenty outings. But a glaring error in the Barcelona back line gifted Malaga the equalizer, and the balance of play moved in their favour to an extent.
It was beginning to appear that Barcelona may drop points in this match, but a moment of brilliance from Leo Messi won the game, and Malaga would be dejected to have walked away from this game empty-handed.
Carlos Kameni – 6/10
Cameroonian international Kameni pulled off a few good saves over the course of the match. He had little to do in the opening exchanges, and pulled off some excellent saves in the second half, but the game was already lost by then.
Miguel Torres – 6/10
The former Real Madrid man’s game was a mixed bag – he was beaten for pace a couple of times by Messi, but his tackle in the 42nd minute meant Malaga stayed in the game longer.
Weligton - 6.5/10
The veteran brought all of his experience and luck to the game as he gave a good account of himself with some solid tackles, and a few questionable ones as well, including a studs-up challenge on Suarez.
Marcos Angeleri - 5.5/10
The veteran Argentinean had a lackluster game.
Roberto Rosales - 6.5/10
His defensive mistake allowed the cross which resulted in the match slipping away from Malaga. Combined well in attack, and had a decent effort on goal.
Recio – 6/10
The Spaniard operated in the centre of midfield, and displayed some aggressive pressing in the first half, and caused some problems for the Barcelona defence with his crosses and link-up play with Rosales and Juanpi.
Ignacio Camacho – 6.5/10
Malaga’s midfield enforcer had a very good game, breaking up a number of dangerous attacks. Had an excellent shot on goal, and also got Leo Messi’s name in the referee’s book, as the five-time Balon D’Or winner committed a rash tackle on him.
Juanpi Anor – 7/10
The young Venezuelan attacker did well to get his first La Liga goal, as he slotted past Bravo. He gave a good account of himself in attack through the game.
Charles – 6.5/10
The Malaga Number 9 had a decent game as he linked up with his attacking partners. The Brazilian, who netted the winner when Atletico Madrid visited Malaga, laid on the assist for Juanpi.
Duje Cop – 5.5/10
The Croat striker, on loan from Cagliari, had one notable header saved by Bravo, but otherwise put in an anonymous performance against the visitors.
Chory Castro – 6.5/10
The Uruguayan had a very good game, constantly a thorn in the Barcelona defense, and had a shot pushed onto the post by the Claudio Bravo.
Duda – N/A
The substitute was brought on late in place of Weligton and didn’t have any notable impact on the game.
Pablo – 5.5/10
He went straight into the referee’s book for a foul on Andres Iniesta.
Santa Cruz – N/A
The veteran Paraguayan and former Manchester City striker was brought on with ten minutes to go and didn’t have much of an impact.