Barcelona remained unbeaten in league play thanks to a 3-1 victory over Málaga today at the Estadio La Rosaleda. Lionel Messi scored in the first half, while Cesc Fábregas and Thiago added second half strikes, handing Malaga not only a defeat but knocking them out of a Champions League spot for now.
Barcelona opened the scoring in the 27th minute thanks to yet another sublime bit of skill from the one and only Messi. It all started thanks to Malaga's Ignacio Camacho making a completely inexplicable back pass that was picked off by the ever lurking Messi, who beat Wilfredo Caballero to the ball. Messi did his usual magical dance, turning Caballero in circles before putting the ball in the empty net.
It was a demoralizing moment for Málaga who had played well up to that point, keeping Barca's attack contained. It seemed to stun Manuel Pellegrini's men and while they held on for awhile keeping the game at 1-0, their ultimate fate seemed inevitable.
Cesc Fábregas finally put Los Boquerones out of their misery in the 50th minute. Messi was again involved, placing a ball with laser guided-like precision between two Málaga defenders right on the foot of Fábregas. Cesc took a single touch before opening up his body and beating Cabaellero with a smooth shot into the bottom right corner.
Messi was again in the mix in the 82nd minute as Barca sealed the match with their third goal. This time his wing-man was Thiago who ran in from the right side, twisted around Manuel Iturra, played a one-two with Messi and then placed the ball in the bottom corner.
Málaga got a consolation goal in the 89th minute Diego Buonanotte but the only consolation it really provided was the knowledge that Barcelona at least wouldn't get a clean sheet to go with their three points. To be fair, Málaga shouldn't feel too bad about the result. After all, nobody else in Spain has been able to figure out how to beat this team so far this season either.