• Wednesday, November 26, 2014

LFP

Barca back on top

Afp, Madrid
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique celebrates his opening goal against Malaga during their Primera Liga encounter at Nou Camp on Sunday. Photo: AFP
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique celebrates his opening goal against Malaga during their Primera Liga encounter at Nou Camp on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Barcelona put a stressful week off the field after the resignation of club president Sandro Rosell behind them to move back to the top of La Liga with a 3-0 win over Malaga on Sunday.
With new president Josep Maria Bartomeu watching on from the directors' box, Gerard Pique swept home the opener from Xavi's corner five minutes before half-time.
Pedro Rodriguez then made the game safe with a neat turn and finish from Lionel Messi's pass 10 minutes after the restart.
Alexis Sanchez slotted home the third moments later from Pedro's cross for his 12th goal of the season.
Atletico Madrid remain level on 54 points with the Catalans as they were 4-2 victors at Rayo Vallecano earlier on Sunday with both leaders a point ahead of third-placed Real Madrid.
Sanchez came within inches of giving Barcelona the perfect start as his chip over Willy Caballero came back off the post after a fine through ball from Cesc Fabregas.
Victor Valdes then had to beat away Duda's free-kick at the other end, but Barca were soon back on the attack and Messi nearly had his much-desired goal when he also dinked the ball beyond Caballero only to see it drift just past the post.

However, it was only a matter of time before Barcelona made the breakthrough and it was Pique who was in the right place to fire home Sanchez's knockdown for his second goal in as many league games.
Caballero kept the hosts at bay at the beginning of the second period as he made fine saves from Sanchez and Fabregas, whilst Pique headed another Xavi corner off the post.
Pedro finally found a way past the Argentine keeper as he received Messi's pass before cutting inside to curl the ball accurately into the bottom corner.
Another Messi dash started the move that led to the third goal as he again fed Pedro and this time the Spanish international squared for Sanchez to tap home.
Atletico kept up the pressure on Barca with a comfortable win of their own at struggling Rayo.  

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Last modified: 4:19 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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