Wednesday 23 April 2014
News updated at 12:41 PM IST
Weather
Max: 35.5°C
Min : 21.5°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

Adriano strikes as Barca survive Malaga scare

MADRID, Aug 26, 2013, Reuters:

Champions eke out fighting 1-0 victory

the saviour: Adriano is mobbed by his Barcelona team-mates after scoring against Malaga during their Spanish League enconuter on Sunday. AP

Barcelona survived a couple of second-half scares to secure a nervous 1-0 win at Malaga on Sunday and maintain their perfect start to their La Liga title defence.

The champions were missing the injured Lionel Messi and struggled to find a way through the home defence until fullback Adriano cut in from the right and curled a powerful shot into the far corner moments before halftime.

Barca defender Gerard Pique diverted the ball onto the crossbar with his back in the 58th minute before Malaga came desperately close to an equaliser.


Roque Santa Cruz found space on the left and cut the ball back from the byline but teenage forward Fabrice Olinga scuffed his shot and it bounced away off a post.
Barca’s new signing Neymar, again starting on the bench, looked sharp when he replaced Pedro with around half an hour left and the Brazil forward drew a fine save from goalkeeper Willy Caballero with a free-kick.

Caballero’s opposite number Victor Valdes then rescued his team with a superb point-blank save from substitute Seba Fernandez’s header and a deflected Neymar shot flew narrowly over in a frantic finale.

The victory leaves Barca at the top of the standings after two matches following their 7-0 drubbing of Levante in last weekend’s opening game.

Atletico Madrid also have six points in second place after Turkey playmaker Arda Turan produced a masterclass to help them to a 5-0 drubbing of city rivals Rayo Vallecano in the earlier kickoff at the Calderon.

Sevilla drew 0-0 at Levante, while Real Betis were beaten 2-1 at home to Celta Vigo in the late game.

Barca’s Spain international Cesc Fabregas said fatigue after Wednesday’s Spanish Super Cup first leg at Atletico, which ended 1-1, may have been the reason for Barca’s sluggish performance on the south coast.

Barca host Atletico for the second leg on Wednesday and will be bidding for their first silverware under new coach Gerardo Martino, brought in to replace the ailing Tito Vilanova.

“We suffered in those final five minutes but in football you have to know how to suffer,” Fabregas said in a pitch-side interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.

“It's true that we are starting a new season, with a lot of new things and we still have room for improvement,” the former Arsenal captain added.

Barca's arch-rivals Real Madrid, who won their opening game at home to Betis last weekend, were to play at Granada on Monday night.

Arda shone and Diego Costa had another excellent game as Atletico dealt out a sound drubbing to neighbours Rayo.

A host of Rayo's top performers left the cash-strapped club in the close season and Atletico were far superior on a sun-drenched evening in the Spanish capital.
Raul Garcia stooped to head Diego Simeone's side in front from a Gabi corner in the 17th minute and Diego Costa made it 2-0 three minutes later when he struck from Arda's assist.

Costa turned provider in the 35th minute when he sent Arda clear with a deft flick and the Turkey international rounded Rayo goalkeeper David Cobeno and stroked the ball into the net.  The heavily bearded Arda, given a rousing ovation when he was replaced with around 20 minutes left, capped a fine performance when he floated a cross over from the left for an unmarked Tiago to nod in a 53rd-minute fourth.

Spain forward David Villa, who joined Atletico from Barcelona in the close season, had a frustrating night and cracked a first-time shot against the bar in the 78th minute before Garcia scored his second in the 90th.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Uluru...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose in front of the Uluru...

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (C) talks with Aboriginal women during a visit ...

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (C) talks with Aboriginal women during a visit ...

Libyan soldiers take positions during a training exercise directed by the Italian Army's ...

Libyan soldiers take positions during a training exercise directed by the Italian Army's ...

Students from Danwon high school pay tribute in Ansan, at a temporary group memorial altar ...

Students from Danwon high school pay tribute in Ansan, at a temporary group memorial altar ...

Family members of a missing passenger of capsized passenger ship Sewol which sank last ...

Family members of a missing passenger of capsized passenger ship Sewol which sank last ...

A female orca, or killer whale, named Mika catches a sea lion pup along the shore of Punta ...

A female orca, or killer whale, named Mika catches a sea lion pup along the shore of Punta ...

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) takes a shot against the Atlanta ...

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) takes a shot against the Atlanta ...

Jon Bon Jovi walks through the lobby of the JBJ Soul Homes during the grand opening, Tuesday ...

Jon Bon Jovi walks through the lobby of the JBJ Soul Homes during the grand opening, Tuesday ...

This image released by The Weinstein Company shows Keira Knightley, left, and Adam Levine in a scene

This image released by The Weinstein Company shows Keira Knightley, left, and Adam Levine in a scene

This image released by The Weinstein Company shows Marion Cotillard in a scene from 'The Immigrant.'

This image released by The Weinstein Company shows Marion Cotillard in a scene from 'The Immigrant.'

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523