FC Barcelona approached the game with Malaga without a win in the last two games, after the draw from the first leg and the defeat in the Primera Division against Real Sociedad. A rarity in recent years for the Catalans. On the other hand, that draw (2-2) at the Camp Nou gave wings to Malaga.
The match started promisingly, and brought Barcelona’s first goal in the 9th minute. Dani Alves went from a suspect off-side position, centered in the box and Pedro opened the scoring with a header. Manuel Pellegrini cut Catalans’ joy after only two minutes. Joaquin received the ball at 16 yards, Mascherano treated the phase superficially and the hosts’ midfielder equalized with a shot at the near post.
In the next 34 minutes it was a total football. The two teams gave a superlative play, worth of two teams qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. Great opportunities were divided almost equally at the two goals, and at half time the score table showed the same score as in minute 11, 1-1.
The start of the second half belonged to Barcelona. Vilanova’s players came more resolute and 4 minutes of the resumption came and the second goal from a free kick.
The guests continued to press, but Malaga managed to equalize again in the 68th minute after a counterattack. Joaquin passed briefly to 16 meters for Santa Cruz, played in the second half, and he defeat Pinto with a shot down the far corner. In the 76th minute Iniesta brought his team the advantage again, after a phase tailored by Fabgreas.
Hosts’ hopes to a miraculous qualification were cut close to 0 in the 79th minute, when Messi headed for 4-2
Barcelona has qualified for the semifinals, where will have a new difficult double against rival Real Madrid. In the other semifinal, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla FC will battle for a place in the Copa del Rey final.