Barcelona was once again left frustrated by Malaga as the Liga title challenger slumped to a 1-0 home defeat and saw an 11-match winning run come to a halt.
Malaga claimed a 0-0 draw after successfully nullifying Lionel Messi and Neymar when the two sides met at La Rosaleda in September, and the team was just as effective again, producing a determined display to claim a first Camp Nou victory since 1999.
Luis Suarez, who missed their last meeting, was unable to inspire a change in Barca’s fortunes this time around, as the team’s usually lethal front line struggled after Juanmi capitalized on an early Dani Alves error to break the deadlock.
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Barcelona unsurprisingly dictated the tempo of the match, though Malaga’s hard-working defense held firm in admirable fashion, while Javi Gracia’s side posed a significant threat on the break.
Rafinha and Andres Iniesta saw Barca’s best chances go begging in the first half, while opportunities were even rarer after the break, as Malaga proved impenetrable.
Malaga ultimately scraped over the finish line to claim a famous and surprising win despite Barca’s intense late pressure, sealing a result that will raise smiles at title rivals Real Madrid.
Despite resting few key players in the lead up to Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League trip to Manchester City, Barca trailed after just seven minutes, proving to be its own worst enemy.