Real Madrid gave Barça the chance to go top of La Liga two weeks before El Clásico and control their own destiny, but the Catalans failed to capitalize and lost 2-0 to Málaga at La Rosaleda. Former Blaugrana Sandro scored for the hosts, and Barça then missed a LOT of chances on the way to a terrible loss that once again hurts the Blaugrana in a big way as the title race heats up.
The visitors had all of the ball and in the first few minutes created some good chances, but as it's usually the case against Málaga, they ran into a brick wall called Carlos Kameni, and the goakeeper saved everything. The Blaugrana were in control of the action and seemed ready to score, but were caught on the counter by former Barça striker Sandro, who ran free on the left side an put the home side ahead.
At halftime, a decent Barça performance finished with a one-goal deficit, and they needed a big comeback to finish the weekend at the top of the table.
Luis Enrique brought captain Andrés Iniesta along with Sergi Roberto and Paco Alcácer early in the second half looking to increase the pressure and give Barça the goals they so badly needed, but then Neymar was sent off for a hard foul on Llorente and the job of getting a comeback became almost impossible.
Before that red card, though, Luis Suárez had two major chances that he somehow decided not to shoot, and those proved to be huge opportunities squandered as Barça couldn't create anything else after Neymar's sending off.
In the end, this is one of the most painful defeats of the season, and now Barça once again need another negative result from Madrid as well as a win in El Clásico to have any shot a the third consecutive league title. Score the damn goals, people!
Also the referee was horrible but that doesn't matter apparently)
Málaga: Kameni; Rosales, Hernández, Llorente, Ricca; Fornals, Camacho, Recio, Juankar (Jony); Juanpi (Peñaranda); Sandro (Charles)
Goals: Sandro (32'), Jony (90'+1)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mascherano, Umtiti, Mathieu (Roberto), Alba; Denis (Iniesta), Busquets, Gomes (Alcácer); Messi, Suárez, Neymar