AFP

Malaga spring shock victory over Barcelona

Malaga spring shock victory over Barcelona

09/04/2017 at 01:41Updated 09/04/2017 at 15:07

La Liga, La Rosaleda - Malaga 2 ( Sandro 32', Jony 90') Barcelona 0

Barcelona missed the chance to go joint top of La Liga, instead losing ground on Real Madrid as Malaga claimed a well-deserved 2-0 win at La Rosaleda.

The 1-1 draw between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby earlier in the day gave Luis Enrique’s side the chance to draw level with their title rivals at the top of the standings, but it proved to be chance they spurned.

Sandro Ramirez scored the opener, making the most of Jeremy Mathieu’s abysmal defending to break in behind the Barcelona backline and find the net against his former club with a low finish past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Enrique sought to address his team’s lack of creativity and energy by introducing Andres Iniesta at the break, only for Barca to find their fightback hindered by Neymar’s dismissal, with the Brazilian shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Diego Llorente.

Malaga made sure of the win in stoppage time, with Jony scoring to give the hosts the 2-0 advantage their performance warranted. Barcelona will now prepare for next week’s Champions League quarter-final against Juventus knowing they must raise their game to stand any chance against the Italians.

TALKING POINT - The Clasico is now a must-win match for Barcelona

Luis Suarez, Neymar, Barcelona

Luis Suarez, Neymar, BarcelonaAFP

The Clasico on April on April 23 was always likely to be a factor in the destination of this season’s Spanish Liga title, but it has now taken on a different dimension in light of Barcelona’s defeat to Malaga. The Catalans are now three points behind Real Madrid, who also hold a game in hand. If Barca are to win the title they must come out on top at the Santiago Bernabeu later this month.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Sandro Ramirez

The former Barcelona striker came back to haunt his former club, scoring the opener for Malaga. But Sandro’s performance was about so much more than just the goal he scored, with the physical frontman keeping the Catalans occupied throughout, giving them a real threat on the counter attack. He, more than anyone else, put Barcelona to the sword, which is ironic given that they allowed him to leave Camp Nou on a free last summer.

PLAYER RATINGS

Malaga - Kameni 6, Rosales 7, Llorente 7, Hernandez 7, Ricca 6, Recio 7, Camacho 6, Juanpi 7, Fornals 8, Carlos 6, Sandro 8. Subs - Jony 7, Charles 6, Penaranda 7.

Lionel Messi les mains sur les hanches lors de la défaite de Barcelone à Malaga

Lionel Messi les mains sur les hanches lors de la défaite de Barcelone à MalagaAFP

KEY MOMENTS

17’ WHAT A SAVE! Kameni pulls off a wonderful save to deny Suarez. The Barcelona striker was in on goal after a long ball over the top from Alba, but the goalkeeper made the stunning save.

32’ GOAL! Malaga 1-0 Barcelona: Sandro has scored against his former club! The Malaga striker was released clean in on goal and had the full half of the pitch to sprint into and finish past Ter Stegen.

67’ SENT OFF! Neymar has been shown a second yellow card for a bad challenge through the back of Llorente. That could really cost Barcelona, who have been reduced to 10 men.

73’ MALAGA HAVE A GOAL CHALKED OFF! Penaranda gets on the end of a ball over the top, rounds Ter Stegen and finishes into the empty net, but the linesman has his flag up for offside. Replays show it was the wrong decision. He was onside!

78’ BARCELONA SHOULD HAVE HAD A PENALTY! Roberto is brought down inside the area, but the referee decides that the foul was outside the box. Replays show that it's the wrong call.

90’ GOAL! Malaga 2-0 Barcelona: That's the goal that secures the win for Malaga! They were toying with Barcelona as they scored that, with Jony finishing with aplomb after the cut back from Fornals. Great goal by the hopes!

KEY STATS

Before tonight Barcelona hadn’t lost in their last 10 league trips to La Rosaleda, last losing there in 2003.

Neymar was shown his first ever red card in La Liga.

Neymar’s red card was the first shown to a Barcelona player in La Liga since October 2015 (Javier Mascherano against Eibar).

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