Lionel Messi scored a second-half winner to earn Barcelona a hard-fought 2-1 win over Malaga at La Rosaleda on Saturday afternoon.
Malaga 1 Barcelona 2
Munir slots home early on
Juanpi nets equaliser
Messi effort is cleard off the line
Messi nets volleyed winner
Barcelona raced into an early lead through Munir, but Malaga were soon level after Juanpi fired in an equaliser thanks to a slight deflection off Javier Hernandez.
Lionel Messi, though, fired in a well-taken volley from close range in the 51st minute to seal the result.
Barcelona wasted no time racing into the lead when Munir tapped home after Luis Suarez had beaten his marker into the box and played the ball across the face of goal.
Malaga were not disheartened by the early setback and nearly pulled a goal back in the 15th minute when Chory Castro’s bouncing effort was turned onto the upright by Claudio Bravo.
Thery were back on level terms in the 32nd minute, though, when Juanpi latched onto a Charles through ball and slotted home with a slight deflection off Javier Mascherano.
Barcelona were oh so nearly ahead when Messi had a close-range effort sensationally blocked by Miguel Torres.
The Catalans did take the lead in the 51st minute when Messi opened his body to fire home with a volley from just outside the six-yard box.
Bravo was forced into a good save on 74 minutes when Camacho pounced on a half-cleared free kick to fire in a shot and did well to deny Duje Cop from the follow-up.
Messi nearly doubled Barcelona’s advantage with 80 minutes played, but he could only fire wide from a tight angle under pressure from the defender.
Castro had one last go from distance in injury time at the end of the 90 minutes, but it was straight at Bravo for a routine save.