Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FC Barcelona end league campaign with win in Malaga

Barcelona's Bojan Krkic celebrates after scoring a penalty against Malaga during their Spanish First Division soccer match at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga May 21, 2011.

MADRID, May 21 -- FC Barcelona ended their triumphant Spanish La Liga campaign with a 3-1 win away to Malaga.

A Bojan Krkic penalty and second half goals from Ibrahima Affelay and Marc Bartra gave Pep Guardiola's side the perfect end to a season in which they have won their third consecutive league title.

It also gave Barca the perfect send off as they look to prepare to face Manchester United in the Champions League final on May 28.

With the Champions League final just a week away, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola used the game to give minutes to B-team players and others such as Eric Abidal and Bojan Krkic who are trying to return to full fitness.

As a result, Malaga, who were looking to end the season on a high note after a run of five wins and a draw from their last six games, controlled the opening minutes, looking to pressure the Barca defense.

The home side took the lead following a nice move which saw Enzo Maresca lay the ball off for Seba Fernandez to beat Jose Pinto with a shot from close range.

Barcelona leveled from the penalty spot just before the break after Bojan was caught in the Malaga penalty area by Malaga defender Eliseu Pereira.

The young striker picked himself up and after a bit of pushing and shoving between both sets of players, he sent Willy Caballero the wrong way from the spot to score his sixth goal of the season.

The second half was an open affair, but Barcelona, led by the impressive Thiago Alcantara sealed the win thanks to two excellent goals.

Ibrahima Affelay scored his side league goal for Barca with a smart right foot shot from the outside of the Malaga area with 15 minutes remaining and with Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves adding experience to the side, Bartra scored a powerful header 10 minutes later.

The game ended with Malaga reserve keeper Francesc Arnau replacing Caballero in goal to make his last appearance before retiring. Meanwhile Barcelona can prepare for next weekend's final with all of their players in condition to play.

Barcelona's Marc Bartra (R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Malaga during their Spanish First Division soccer match at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga May 21, 2011. Barcelona won 3-1.


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