First Division - Day 9

Málaga 1 - Barcelona 4

Málaga: Arnau; Jesús Gámez, Helder Rosario, Weligton, Calleja; Eliseu, Apoño (Fernando 67'), Miguel Ángel, Duda (Albert Luque 75'); Adrián (Nacho 61'), Baha. 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves, Márquez, Piqué, Puyol; Xavi, Touré Yayá, Busquets; Messi (Víctor Sánchez 78'), Eto'o (Bojan 84'), Iniesta (Henry 50'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Málaga: Duda for Nacho / Barcelona: Piqué, Busquets for Abidal, Henry.

0-1. 05. Xavi. Curled long free kick over defensive wall into top corner of net.
1-1. 12. Duda. Curled shot past Valdés after keeper blocked shot from Adrián.
1-2. 18. Messi. Picked up Weligton clearance and fired low shot back past Arnau.
1-3. 52. Xavi. Drove angled shot past Arnau after Henry headed over Eto'o cross.
1-4. 80. Weligton (own goal). Deflected long Dani Alves free kick in to own net.

Yellow cards: Apoño 04', Baha 07', Alves 55', Touré Yayá 74', Busquets 78'.

Barcelona returned to the top of La Liga for the first time in almost one and a half years after a 1-4 victory at Málaga. Heavy rainstorms meant the match almost didn't take place, but that didn't worry Xavi, who opened the scoring with a well struck free kick in the fifth minute. Duda equalised seven minutes later, picking up the ball outside the area and curling a shot past Víctor Valdés after the keeper had made a reaction save from Adrián. But Messi beat Arnau for a second time after picking up a scrambled clearance from Weligton soon afterwards to put his side back in front.

The visitors went further ahead after that, Xavi getting his second of the night after second half substitute Henry headed back Eto'o's cross soon after the restart. And they continued to dominate, Dani Alves firing a long free kick on to the post, Henry shooting just over and Busquets having an effort saved by Arnau. And with ten minutes to go Alves wrapped up an eleventh win in a row in all competitions with a long free kick which Weligton deflected in to his own net. Valencia's defeat later in the evening means that Pep Guardiola's side are all but mathematically sure of top spot. Málaga though drop out of the top six after their run of four consecutive league victories came to an end.