Barcelona’s La Liga title run suffered a setback in Malaga today as they ended up 0-2 losers to the struggling hosts and failed to overtake Madrid on the table.
Worse, Brazilian forward Neymar got a red card in the tempestous clash at La Rosaleda., where 10 yellow cards were issued, with Barcelona players picking six of them.
Expectations were that Barcelona would seize the summit of La Liga from rivals Real Madrid after the Madrid derby with Atletico had ended 1-1. Barcelona played last.
The expectations did not however match reality. Even though they dominated possession, 66 per cent to 34, the hosts had more shots on target 4-2 than Barcelona.
Sandro Ramirez dealt his former club’s hopes of going top of the league a blow before the break when he made the most of some poor defending from Jeremy Mathieu.
And things went from bad to worse after the interval with a second booking for Neymar – his first red card in LaLiga – following a reckless foul on Diego Llorente near the corner flag.
Jony then added a second in stoppage time at the end of counter-attack as the champions chased a way back into the game that never materialised.
Barcelona had every reason to be confident heading into the encounter, having gone unbeaten at the Rosaleda in the league since 2003, but the scoreless draw from the reverse fixture was an indication that Malaga would not be pushovers.
*With reports by goal.com