Barca coast to Messi-less masterclass

Barcelona put on a Lionel Messi-less masterclass to beat Malaga 2-0 on Saturday and move 11 points clear at the top of La Liga.

See how the action unfolded at La Rosaleda with our liveblog!

Goals from ex-Liverpool pair Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho capped off a complete Barca performance against a Malaga side that lost Samu Garcia to a straight red card and fell 11 points adrift of safety.

Messi was ruled out of the match due to the birth of his third son Ciro, and taking his place in Barca's XI was Ousmane Dembele, who flanked Suarez up top with Coutinho.

Malaga, meanwhile, were seven points adrift at the foot of the table but did beat the Catalans 2-0 on home soil last season to not only keep themselves up but effectively kill off their opponents' title hopes.

Barca were just as dominant without the No 10 and broke the deadlock just 15 minutes in through Suarez, who headed home Jordi Alba’s deep cross.

The Catalans’ big-money signings then linked up as Ousmane Dembele’s feint and cutback was delightfully backheeled past Roberto by Coutinho.

If Malaga didn’t already have a mountain to climb, Samu made sure of that when he recklessly lunged into Alba’s ankle with his studs up for a quick dismissal.

From there on, it was more of a training workout than a League outing for Barca, although a potential turning point saw Youssef En-Nesyri bounce a free header over from a yard out instead of pulling one back for Los Boquerones.

Malaga 0-2 Barcelona

Samu sent off 30 (M) Suarez 15, Coutinho 29 (B)

Malaga: Roberto; Rosales, Luis Hernandez, Miquel, Ricca; Samuel, Lacen, Iturra, Chory (Lestienne 61) En-Nesyri (Ideye 78), Rolan (Success 78)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto (Gomes 74), Pique, Umtiti, Alba (Digne 78); Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho; Dembele (Vidal 85), Suarez, Coutinho

Referee: Martinez Munuera