Màlaga CF – FC Barcelona First points dropped

Iniesta i Juanpi. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
FC Barcelona kept their fifth consecutive clean sheet at La Rosaleda but failed to find the way past an exceptionally strong Malaga defence

The goalless draw brings an end to the side’s one hundred per cent record in La Liga

FC Barcelona dominated Malaga at La Rosaleda this evening, but the combination of a poor playing surface and an ultra-tight Andalusian defence meant that not only did they score no goals, but also failed to produce many real chances. Time and time again they pushed forward in search of a way to break the deadlock, but the best they could achieve was a series of half-chances and near misses.

Douglas debut

With Dani Alves being rested for this game, and Luis Enrique opting to hand Douglas his first start in a Barça shirt, the game got off to a slow start. Malaga drew first blood with a 7th minute strike from Amrabata, which Bravo did well to save, while It took Barça 14 minutes to get their first proper shot on goal, a Messi free-kick. Moments later Pedro fired an effort wide, and came close again after 26, but Malaga keeper Kameni was having a surprisingly quiet evening as Barça struggled to conjure up ideas.

The Cameroonian wasn’t truly called upon until the 32nd minute to block Messi from an angle, and with three minutes of the half to go, the Argentinian looked certain to score, but failed to connect with a Jordi Alves cross.

Munir and Sandro on

There was little change after the break. Barça still had three quarters of the possession, but rarely managed to find much to do with it, and with under half an hour to go, Luis Enrique opted for a fresh attack by sending on Munir and Sandro in the places of Pedro and Neymar. Shortly after, debutant Douglas was withdrawn and replaced by his Brazilian compatriot Adriano at right-back.

And there was occasionally a bit more to Malaga than merely sitting back and defending. A powerful drive from Rosales after 65 minutes only just skimmed wide, and then Claudio Bravo turned a free kick onto his own post after 72.

Frustration to the end

Barça’s final onslaught in search of a goal that would keep their one hundred per cent record intact included a fine header from Piqué that produced Kameni’s best save of the night and a couple of chances for Bartra, but try as they did, the goal just wouldn’t come: And so a frustrating night in Malaga ended as it began, 0-0. FC Barcelona have now survived for an impressive five Liga games without conceding a goal, but for the first time this season, failed to find the net for themselves either.

Luis Suárez and Vermaelen play and score

Luis Suárez scored his first two goals in a Barça shirt / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB
Both players appeared in FC Barcelona B’s game with the Indonesia U19 team and both found the net

Luis Suárez played for 90 minutes and scored twice while Thomas Vermaelen scored the first goal and played for 62 minutes

This Wednesday, the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training ground witnessed the first goals for Luis Suárez and Thomas Vermaelen in a Barça shirt. They were included in the reserve team’s friendly against the Indonesia U19 team, a valuable opportunity for both of them to get into the rhythm of playing matches.

Suárez active

The Uruguayan striker is still unable to play in official matches due to the suspension imposed on him at the Brazil World Cup, but was able to get a useful 90 minute run-out in today’s friendly. Suarez was highly active throughout a game in which Barça B dominated their Asian opponents right from the start, and it took him just 12 minutes to find the target with a fine strike from an angle after outpacing his marker.

He had several other chances during the first half, but was either denied by the goalkeeper or narrowly missed the target. Then, after a quiet start to the second 45 minutes he scored his second and Barça’s fourth with a fine left-footed shot from the edge of the area.

First minutes for Vermaelen

Belgian defender Vermaelen is also waiting for his first official start for Barça, but he is well on the road to recovery from the injury that has kept him side-lined since the World Cup. He started today’s game against the Indonesians at left-back and stayed on for 63 minutes until he was replaced by Agostinho Cá.

And it was Vermaelen who opened the scoring in the very first minute this afternoon when he headed home a cross from Babunski with spectacular accuracy.

All ready in La Rosaleda changing room

All set in the Rosaleda changing room
FC Barcelona will once again be wearing the new crimson strip against Malaga

Everything is ready in the Barça changing room at Barça changing room at La Rosaleda, where the first team will be wearing the crimson strip, which they wore in preseason friendlies against Recreativo Huelva and Nice and for the first time last week in an official fixture, away to against Levante. The team have headed south to Andalusia in search of their eight consecutive victory against Malaga and to maintain their one hundred per cent record in this season’s competition.

 

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LIVE FC Barcelona B v Indonesia National Team under 19 (friendly game)

Adama, en una acción contra el Sabadell. FOTO: Arxiu FCB
Friendly game between FC Barcelona B and Indonesia National Team under 19

Friendly game between FC Barcelona B and Indonesia National Team under 19

Neymar and Rakitic fit and in squad for Malaga

Neymar and Rakitic are both in the squad/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Alves and Mathieu drop out of the 19-man squad with the injured Rafinha, Masip and Vermaelen also missing.

Luis Enrique has named a 19-man squad for the game against Malaga this evening, with Neymar and Rakitic both fit and included after picking up knocks in the game against Levante. B team youngsters Munir  and Sandro are again in the squad.

Alves  and Mathieu have both been omitted from the squad, whilst  the injured Rafinha, Masip and Vermaelen, as well as the suspended Luis Suárez also miss out.

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