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Barça came flying out of the blocks and were ahead thanks to Gerard Deulofeu before most of the Málaga players had touched the ball. It set the tone for the rest of the opening 45 as the blaugranes stroked the ball around the Camp Nou pitch, forcing their opponents to chase shadows for the most part.
As if to emphasise their dominance, the hosts had seen 75% of the ball in the opening 20 minutes, rendering Marc-André ter Stegen a virtual bystander to proceedings. Solid at the back and incisive up front, they were, nevertheless, unable to add to the scoreline before the break.
With nothing to lose, the Andalusians applied more pressure at the start of the second-half, but Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti were equal to anything the visitors had to offer. A similar pattern to the first period began to develop as the game became more open.
It wasn’t long before one of the star performers on the night, captain Andrés Iniesta, angled a left-footed shot into the roof of the net, via a slight deflection, to double Barça’s lead before the hour.
Lucas Digne took a shot to the face in order to preserve Barça’s clean sheet, the Frenchman and his defensive colleagues fully committed to retaining the status quo. As Málaga began to tire, the chances came thick and fast for the hosts, with Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi both going close. The victory sees Ernesto Valverde’s side maintain their 100% record at home.
Barça are back in action on Tuesday, October 24, against Real Murcia in the Copa del Rey, kick-off 9.30pm CET.
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