Vermaelen goal decisive against MalagaAugust 31, 2015
Saturday’s match against Malaga saw Neymar join the team for the first time after suffering mumps during the summer, joining Messi and Suarez at the front, while at the back the team did without four defenders due to injury and, in the case of Gerard Pique, suspension.
Early on it looked as if Barcelona had gone ahead, but the goal by Suarez was disallowed for fouling Malaga defender Angeleri in the fourth minute. After that both sides came close to scoring during the first half, with Mascherano heading the ball to the crossbar, immediately followed by a call for a penalty after Angeleri returned the favour on Suarez. However, no penalty was given. And Juankar made a good attempt from his own half on the Barcelona goal, which was left wide open but going into the break neither side had scored.
The second half saw Messi come close to scoring the opener from a Neymar assist, but like several attempts that followed it was saved by Kameni. Barcelona continued to pile on the pressure though and finally, with 20 minutes to go, the Malaga keeper deflected the ball into the path of Thomas Vermaelen to score his first goal for the Catalans. His last season was disappointing after making his debut at the very end of the season having been sidelined for the entire season by a hamstring injury and so his goal, the only one of the match, must have been particularly gratifying.
Although Barcelona continued to attack the Malaga goal, and with 75% possession throughout the match, they were unable open up the score and in the end it was Vermaelen’s goal that decided the match in Barcelona’s favour.
1-0 Vermaelen (min 72)