Malaga vs. Barcelona: Final score 0-1, Blaugrana grab 3 points despite average performance

Denis Doyle

The absences of Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were noticeable in a less than stellar Barcelona performance, but they were still able to find one goal to defeat Malaga.

Barcelona seriously missed Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets on Sunday, but they managed to pull out a good result without them. Adriano, who started in place of Dani Alves, came up with a great goal at the end of the second half to put Barcleona ahead. Malaga had multiple chances to pull back into the game, but Victor Valdes stuffed all of them to preserve his team's 1-0 win.

More from our team siteFC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes

The Blaugrana controlled possession as they normally do in the first half, playing a fairly conservative game and prioritizing keeping the ball over trying to play killer balls. They still managed to generate a few chances, with Willy Caballero making some early saves. He made stops on Alexis Sanchez and Gerard Pique near the end of the first half, but he should have done better on Barcelona's goal.

Adriano scored the game's only goal in the 44th minute, hitting a strike from 25 yards to the far post. Willy looked to be in good position to make a stop, but reacted late to Adriano's shot and was beaten.

Barcelona had a number of opportunities to expand their lead, but failed to capitalize. Pique hit the crossbar off a free kick int he 58th minute, looking to contact the ball with his back as opposed to his head. In the 63rd minute, Neymar entered the game, replacing Pedro.

Neymar looked dangerous throughout his spell on the pitch -- he forced Willy into a save in the 80th minute off a free kick -- but Malaga had their best chance of the game before Neymar saw much of the ball. In the 68th minute, Victor Valdes forced Roque Santa Cruz wide, but couldn't stop the Malaga forward's cutback pass to Fabrice. The star youngster had Valdes beat, but hit the cross with his shot.

Valdes was forced into action again in the 90th minute, when he made a double save to keep Barcelona on top. Some poor marking allowed Sebastian Fernandez to get a free header, but Valdes was in the perfect place to make a stop. Five seconds later, he stuffed Fernando Tissone's follow-up, squashing Malaga's chances of stealing a point.

Malaga: Willy, Gamez, Antunes, Angeleri, Sanchez, Tissone, Camacho (Fernandez 76'), Darder, Fabrice (Morales 77'), Pawlowski (Eliseu 63'), Santa Cruz

Goals: None.

Barcelona: Valdes, Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano (Alves 45'), Song, Xavi, Iniesta (Roberto 83'), Pedro (Neymar 63'), Fabregas, Sanchez

Goals: Adriano (44')

Follow @SBNationSoccer on TwitterLike SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Moyes and the importance of power

Cascadia Cup isn’t just a sentimental competition this year

Welcome back, Serie A

Top sides victorious in Bundesliga

Transfer rumours from SB Nation and our team blogs

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.