With the results of Madrid derby in sight and both teams missing out on 2 points, Barcelona would’ve been certain to level with Real on points and extend its lead over Atletico. But an inspired Malaga turned the tables to shock the Catalonian Giants as the latter let slip a great opportunity to get back in the La Liga title Race. Through this win Malaga may have just won the title for Real Madrid.
Barcelona had every reason to be confident having gone unbeaten at the Rosaleda in the league since 2003. They got off to a good start with plenty of possession but things quickly turned sour as everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
Their shots lacked quality (except for the half-volley attempt from Suarez). Ex-barca player Sandro scored against them following a poor decision by Jeremy Mathieu to call an offside. Both goals for Malaga came from counter attacks, and, finally to add insult to the injury, Neymar was sent off following an unnecessary foul and his reckless behavior has given him a 3 match ban, ousting him from the Classico.
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While the officiating of the match was not up to scratch, the truth is that the Barcelona players didn’t show the passion and commitment on the pitch that was required and expected of them in such a crucial match. Malaga were content to sit deep and allow the visitors plenty of possession but it was on the counter attacks that they tore Barcelona’s defense apart.
The decision made by Luis Enrique to bring in Jeremy Mathieu and Andres Gomes while benching Iniesta was frowned upon. Gomes missed an easy chance to score while failing to link up in the midfield and Mathieu did not play upto the mark either.
With La Liga seemingly finished and their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread, Barcelona will need to have an incredible couple of weeks to have any hope of winning silverware this season.