Another magical display ensured Barcelona would stay six points clear of Real Madrid, who had defeated Almeria 3-0 earlier in the day.
High flying Malaga, the surprise team of the season, were cut to shreds by the attacking power of the Catalan’s. From the kick off Barca went on the offensive and in the first fifteen minutes had no fewer than four good chances to open the scoring. The opening goal finally came on 18 minutes when Eto’o slotted a through ball to Xavi who got the better of Rosario and fired a low shot home.
Six minutes later it was Messi’s turn as he produced another moment of magic. The brilliant Argentinian received the ball on the right, went past three defenders before beating Goitia with a wonderful right footed shot into the roof of the net. Yaya Toure who was injured after a tackle from Nacho in the 18th minute was obviously in pain and was replaced by Seydou Keita immediately after the goal celebrations.
Xavi now took control of the midfield and first set up Henry on 32 minutes with a beautiful through ball which split the defence enabling Henry to round Goitia and slot home to make it 3-0, and then eleven minutes later he provided Eto’o with the pass which saw the Cameroonian finish with great aplomb and score his first league goal since February 14.
It was much of the same as the second half commenced and five minutes into the half Iniesta found the unmarked Alves with a wonderful chip into the penalty area and he rose to head pass the stranded Malaga keeper. Samuel Eto’o got his second and Barca’s sixth as Henry unselfishly squared the ball to him after the goalkeeper could only parry a powerful shot from Sylvinho.
Pep Guardiola’s side have now scored 84 goals. Samuel Eto’o has 25, Messi 19 and Thierry Henry 15.
Andreas Iniesta picked up an injury and was replaced by Gudjohnsen on 60 minutes and Bojan also got a run out, replacing Xavi on 67 minutes after the midfielder complained of problems in his achilles tendon on his right foot.
The only downside to the evening was the injuries to Touré and Iniesta. Pep Guardiola explained “they are minor muscular ruptures, and they should be OK in ten to fifteen days”. On Xavi, he said “he’s had a problem with a tendon for some days, but he’ll be fine for the last part of the league”
Full Time: Barcelona 6 (Xavi 18, Messi 24, Henry 32, Eto’o 43, 56, Alves 50) Malaga 0
Yellow Cards: Nacho 18, Lolo 28, Alves 33, Gamez 36, Gudjohnsen 80
FC Barcelona: Victor Valdes, Daniel Alves, Jose Martin Caceres, Rafael Marquez, Silvio Sylvinho, Xavier Hernandez Xavi (Krkic Perez Bojan, 67), Andres Iniesta (Eidur Gudjohnsen, 60), Lionel Messi, Yaya Toure (Seydou Keita, 26), Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o
Malaga CF: Inaki Goitia, Duarte Jesus Gamez (Gaspar Haro Manolo, 62), Ivan Javier Cuadrado, Miguel Helder Rosario, Perez Santamaria Nacho, Pereira Eliseu, Antonio Galeano Apono, Fernandez Fernando, Manuel Ortiz Lolo (Sergio Duda, 69), Albert Luque (Ferreira Martins Adriano, 75), Ballesta Salva
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