Barcelona beats Malaga while Messi attends birth of son

Barca's next outing is at home to Chelsea in midweek, with their Champions League last-16 tie all square at 1-1.

"In the second half we began to subconsciously think about the match on Wednesday", he said at a press conference reported by the Spanish press.

"It's true that after 15, nearly 20 days, Luka came in and played a great game", Zidane said.

Luis Suarez opened the floodgates for his side in the 15th minute when he scored a sublime goal giving Barcelona a 1-0 lead.

Messi is expected back against Chelsea at the Camp Nou, where the score is 1-1 from the first leg, but Valverde will have been delighted with how his attackers filled the void, as Suarez, Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele all delivered excellent displays.

"Today is yet another step forward for him".

Following on from the Champions League victory over Paris St Germain, another success for Zinedine Zidane's side means they have won eight of their last nine matches across all competitions.

Meanwhile, Malaga remain rooted to the bottom of the table. 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.

Malaga, meanwhile, look set to lose their LaLiga status barring a remarkable turnaround over the closing weeks of the campaign, having slipped 11 points from safety.

Malaga lost Samuel Garcia to a direct red card for a rash studs-first tackle into the foot of Alba on the half-hour mark. I've never been a player to kick out.

The next scoring target for Suarez will be against Celta Vigo, who are the only team to have not conceded to the Uruguayan on their home turf, although he will have the chance to rectify the situation when Barcelona head to Balaidos on 18 April.

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