Priceless performance (4-1)
Barça thrashed Malaga 4-1 after another sublime first half performance and finish the first half of the Championship stronger leaders than ever. Iniesta, Villa (2) and Pedro were on target for Guardiola’s men as they ran up their 13th successive leag
Games at the Nou Camp have become synonymous with spectacle and party time and this Sunday was no exception as two early goals from Iniesta and Villa launched another fine win for the Winter Champions, with the only negative point being the first half injury to Alves.
After Pedro had scored the third goal before the break, Guardiola’s men relaxed at the start of the second half and allowed Duda to pull one back, but Villa hit back just before the end to restore the three goal lead. Malaga may have the millions, but this Barça team are priceless!
The win means Barça have set a points record for the first half of a league season with 52, four ahead of second place Real Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Almeria.
The start of the game saw some of the best football of the season so far - and that’s saying something! Right from the first whistle, Barça laid siege to the Malaga area and playing at a very high rhythm, the chances soon began to arrive. Abidal opened proceedings with a shot from the left and then Alves and Iniesta combined for the Spanish midfielder to hit a beautiful shot past the Malaga keeper for the first goal. Iniesta was unstoppable. Barça were unstoppable.
Leo sets up the next two
The glorious football continued as Xavi fired against the woodwork from outside the box and then a minute later, following a good tackle in midfield from Busquets, Messi set up Villa who shot under Asenjo to double the lead. It had taken just 17 minutes to put the game out of Malaga’s reach and the only shadow was Alves’ injury which forced him off to be replaced by Adriano.
Taking a quick breather to allow Adriano to settle, Barça were soon back in stride and again at their very best. Once more it was Messi who set up goal number three, scored by Pedro after a shot from Iniesta. There was no sign at all of Malaga in the first 45 minutes as Barça stormed through the Andalucian millionaires, who betrayed the fact that they are still very much a work in progress.
Duda pegs one back
The pace dropped considerably after the break and Pellegrini brought on two attacking players Eliseu and Rondón as his team gradually began to get close to Valdes’ goal and on 68 minutes Duda pegged one back for the visitors.
Villa gets his second
Malaga’s goal seemed to spark Barça again though and Villa made it 4-1 after rounding the keeper Asenjo, who after previously having conceded six against the team with Valladolid, is probably glad he only has to visit the Nou Camp once a season!