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Malaga 1-2 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points

Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
15.29K   //    24 Jan 2016, 01:10 IST

Barcelona beat Malaga to keep the pressure on rivals Atletico and Real MadridLionel Messi scored on his return to hand Barcelona a crucial 2-1 win against Malaga and move to the top of the standings. Munir El Haddadi gave the holders an early lead with a simple tap-in into an empty net, before Spanish youngster Juanpi levelled the matters for the hosts just minutes after the half hour mark.Los Boquerones were the better side in the first half but saw the winds knocked out of their sails when Messi scored after just 7 minutes into the second stanza. Malaga threatened to equalize on a few occasions later on, but the visitors clung on and walked away with all the three points.Let’s discuss the major talking points spruced up from the Rosaleda arena today.

#1 A game of two contrasting halves

Malaga held the upper hand in the first half, but Barcelona emerged dominant after the break.

Malaga had set the stage for Barcelona, prepared to keep things tight at the back and frustrate the visitors. However, their plan was busted as early as 63 seconds when Munir broke the deadlock. But from there on, the home side dominated the proceedings.

Pressing high up the park and threatening in the air, Malaga were very dangerous going forward and deservedly equalised through Juanpi when the striker capitalised on a mistake by the Barca backline. The holders looked very shaky at the back and flaccid in the attack, but the second half was a different ball game altogether.

All the frailties displayed by the Blaugrana in the first half were non-existent in the second, and a returning Lionel Messi set the tone when he struck a beautiful acrobatic volley to seal the winner early after the restart. Although Malaga showed great character whilst trying to find the equaliser, the men in yellow were still a notch above.

It was a game of two contrating halves, but in the end, it was the quality that separated the two sides.

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Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Football aficionado. Writing enthusiast. Aspiring journalist.
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