Messi-less Barcelona cruise home in Malaga

Lionel Messi
GETTYLionel Messi won't feature for Barcelona against Malaga
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12 March, 2018

The Barcelona forward had pulled out of the squad to face Malaga in LaLiga, the Spanish club have announced earlier today.

Suarez headed home a looping cross from Alba to give Barca the lead in the 15th minute and his former Liverpool teammate Coutinho struck the second in the 28th with a backheel from close range after an impressive dribble from Ousmane Dembele.

Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho scored early in a 2-0 victory at Malaga, which was already trailing by two goals when one of its players was sent off for a unsafe tackle with an hour to go.

Valverde had resisted temptation to rest several key players ahead of next week's Champions League match against Chelsea at the Nou Camp, with the last-16 tie finely poised at 1-1.

Midfielder Garcia posted an apology on Twitter for his red card.

Coutinho nearly capped off a great evening with his second goal, another sublime interchange with Suarez nearly brought the Brazilian in for the goal but he couldn't quite gather the ball before Roberto had charged him down.

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"We came here expecting a hard night but we managed to score early and, with an extra man, we were able to control the game".

The Argentine has scored a total of 31 goals from 37 appearances in all competitions this season. Iván Ramis equaliser to Ronaldos first goal could not help the hosts keep their undefeated streak at home intact as Ronaldo thumped in a header in the 84th minute to hand Real Madrid the much-deserved win.

"For me he's from another galaxy", Madrid manager Zidane said. "He knows he is going to score". And he can also create, as we saw with the second goal.

"Of course there's a title race", said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde after the win.

"Chelsea will be a tough match, just like the first leg".


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