Malaga holds out at Camp Nou for goalless drawNovember 21, 2016
FC Barcelona earned just a single point this weekend after the squad, lacking Messi and Suarez, were held to a goalless draw against Malaga. Although the Catalans dominated possession throughout and created plenty of opportunities, they were unable to crack the Malaga defence. Even with Malaga down to nine men in the closing stages of the match, Barcelona were unable to capitalise on their advantage.
Messi was ruled out for the match after going down with some kind of illness on Saturday morning, while Luis Suarez was serving his one match suspension. Also absent were Iniesta, also through injury, and Mathieu. Neymar was joined by Arda Turan and Paco Alcacer to replace the missing two prongs of Barça’s trident.
Barcelona piled on the pressure right from the start and it looked to be only a matter of time before they went ahead. All the same, by the end of the first half and with a number of good attempts on the Malaga goal, the score remained 0-0.
The second half saw more of the same, with Barcelona completely in control of the match but unable to finish. Malaga came close to going ahead around the hour mark, but were unable to finish the job. With just more than twenty minutes remaining of the match, Llorente received his marching orders from the ref after bringing down Neymar, which could quite easily have become the tipping point for FC Barcelona. Still it didn’t happen though, with a great shot by Neymar saved by the Malaga keeper.
In injury time Juankar was sent off for arguing with the ref, handing Barcelona a two man advantage. Still they were unable to break through and when the final whistle sounded the scoreline was as it had been at the start of the match.
The result sees Barcelona remain in second place in the league, now trailing Real Madrid by four points. Sevilla jumped up into third place after both Villarreal and Atletico Madrid lost their matches, the latter to the league leader. The table as it stands at the moment is as follows:
|16||Deportivo La Coruna||12||2||4||6||10||19||10|
Wednesday sees Barcelona in Glasgow to face Celtic in the Champions League group stage.