nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Messi's wife gives birth - misses Barcelona vs Malaga game

12 March 2018, 06:54 | Nina Perez

GETTYJose Mourinho wants Manchester United to strike a deal for Ajax starlet Justin Kluivert

Jose Mourinho Manchester United Chelsea Premier League

Leo Messi missed the trip to the La Rosaleda Stadium after becoming a father for the third time on Friday night, but his inspirational presence was not needed against the bottom side of the table with just 13 points from 28 matches, reports Xinhua news agency.

Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, the two players Barcelona paid more than 300 million euros to sign this season, linked up to double the lead in the 28th.

Down a man and without a win in 12 matches, Malaga might have feared a rout but Barca settled for a straightforward victory, perhaps with one eye on Wednesday's Uefa Champions League last-16 clash against Chelsea.

Malaga were down to 10 men on the half-hour when midfielder Garcia went through the back of Alba and was swiftly shown a red card.

The tone for proceedings was set early on, with the visitors displaying their strength and their unconquerable passing game on display from the whistle.

Goals from former Liverpool teammates Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho sent Barca 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid. "He is young, he has had an important injury, and the spotlight is on him", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. Iván Ramis equaliser to Ronaldos first goal could not help the hosts keep their undefeated streak at home intact as Ronaldo thumped in a header in the 84th minute to hand Real Madrid the much-deserved win.

"(Ronaldo) is from another galaxy", Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.

In particular, Dembele's brilliant turn and pass was bettered only by Coutinho's flicked finish for what was a superb second goal.

"He knows he's going to score, he's unique and special". So I am happy with the three points above all.

"Chelsea will be a tough match, just like the first leg".

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