FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi absence from Malaga clash explained

Coutinho'Dembele is a great player


Even without star forward Lionel Messi, who was with his wife following the birth of their third son, Barcelona had too much for the hosts.

Ideye was brought on in the second half in Malaga's 2-0 away loss to Leganes last Saturday but Success was not included in the squad.

The Spanish club are eight points clear at the top of La Liga and play Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Samu was shown a red card after he made a reckless tackle on Jordi Alba and that ended any hopes, if at all, of Malaga to gain anything from the game.

"We will have to suffer to progress past Chelsea".

On Saturday, Luis Suarez opened the scoring after just 15 minutes, a goal which means he has now scored against every side in the Primera Liga since arriving at Barcelona in 2014.

Coutinho produced a wonderfully inventive backheel finish from Dembele's 28th-minute pass and the France winger, whose first season in Spain has been ruined by injury, started to unfurl his full repertoire as the game went on.

"Dembele's a player that needs time, he's young", said Valverde in his post-game news conference.

Lionel Messi is out of Barcelona's clash with Malaga.

"Of course they're a rival for the league title", he said.

At the other end of the table, Levante boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win at Getafe, where they had substitute goalkeeper Jorge Ruiz Ojeda sent off from the bench late on. The hosts were finding it already too hard to get an openning and they were further delivered a blow by the referee in the 30th minute. "I'm sad for the situation of the team".

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