Malaga and Barça, who met in the final game of last season, will go head to head again on Sunday in the La Rosaleda. The Malaga stadium has been a happy hunting ground for Barça in recent seasons, with six wins in the last six matches and some excellent footballing exhibitions.
Dancing in the rain
This runs of wins began in the 2008/09 season. That match is remembered for the torrential rain and Xavi’s double strike. It was 1st November 2008 and Barça, managed by Pep Guardiola, won 1-4 to go top of the table for the first time.
A year later, Barça went to Malaga for the fifth round of the league campaign. Piqué and Ibrahimovic came off the subs bench to seal a win (0-2) and make it 15 points out of 15.
The following season Barça had already clinched the league title but still went on to win 1-3 in the last match of the season.
Eleven goals in the last three matches
The last three matches in La Rosaleda are difficult to forget. At the halfway point in the 2011/12 season, the game ended 1-4 with a superb performance from Valdés and a hat trick from Messi.
Last season, the two sides met in the Cup as well as the league. In the league, Vilanova’s men produced what was possibly their best performance of the season to win 1-3 and finish the first half of the campaign with an historic record of 55 points.
Eleven days later, the two teams met again in the quarterfinals of the Cup. The result of the first leg (2-2) meant that Barça had to go for a win and despite the poor state of the pitch, Iniesta and Messi led their team-mates into the semi-finals with a superb 2-4 victory.
This Sunday (9 pm, Canal +) Tata Martino’s Barça will be looking to continue their winning ways in La Rosaleda and take their seventh successive victory.