Barcelona 1-0 Malaga: Vermaelen saves three points for the Catalans
Barcelona controlled the game inside the first 20 minutes but failed to make it count in the final third, but luckily for the Catalans, Thomas Vermaelen was at the ready.
Chances were few and fair between for Barcelona the first coming from Luis Suarez who had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled out for a push on Malaga central defender Angeleri.
Malaga themselves had chances the best of which was a daring shot from his own half from Juan Carlos after he spotted the Barca keeper, Claudio Bravo well off his line but the ball sailed just over.
The Costa deal Sol club were happy to let Barcelona have the ball and try to catch them on the break but they themselves, like the Catalans, found it hard to find that crucial final ball in front of goal.
Barcelona’s best chance came on 25 minutes when an un-marked Mascherano, who has never scored for Barcelona in 200 matches, crashed a header against the bar.
Luis Enrique will be fuming with the officials when he thought his team should have had at least one penalty from two chances each two minutes apart, one from a Miguel Torres hand ball as Neymar tried to weave his way through the the defence and another from an Nageleri tackle on Luis Suarez that showed the Argentine defender failed to get the ball.
The second half saw a much better performance from Barcelona with their all star South American front three raining shot after shot down on goal.
Kameni put in a fine performance in the Malaga goal and answered every question the Champions asked of him.
The 98,000 strong crowd would have been wondering if they were ever going to score against Malaga again and the statisticians would have been scratching their heads to think of the last time a club has managed to keep Barcelona out for three straight matches when the goal eventually came on 73 minutes.
The ball came down the left to Luis Suarez who put in a cross that was cut out but the Malaga keeper. Ex-Arsenal man Thomas Vermaelen pounced on the loose ball and smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Barcelona maintained the majority of possession but failed to capitalise and we’re very nearly punished for their lack of finishing. Malaga broke and with the cross coming in from the left Brazilian forward Charles just couldn’t sort his feet out to find the finish and Jordi Alba managed to clear.
Barcelona go into the international with a perfect record and couldn’t ask for anything else while Malaga will think themselves unlucky not to have come away with at least a point but upon reflection a home victory was probably a correct result.
Barcelona starting XI Claudio Bravo, Sergi Roberto, Javier Macherano, Thomas Vermaelen (Mathieu 90), Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakatic (Rafinha 63), Sergio Besquets, Andreas Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar (Sandro Remirez 87)
Goals: Varmaelen 73
Malaga starting XI Kameni, Miguel Torres, Welington (Albentosa 25), Rosales, Angeleri, Juan Carlos, Tissone, Recio, Amrabat (Charles 54), Côp, Ricardo Horta (Añor 73)
Yellow Cards: Recio 43, Tissone 89, Miguel Torres 90+1