Primera Week 19 - 13 Jan 2013 (14.00 UK)
Malaga 1 - 3 Barcelona
Messi 27 (B), Fabregas 50 (B), Thiago 82 (B), Buonanotte 89 (M)
Estadio La Rosaleda

Manuel Pellegrini felt that Malaga only lost due to a first-half error, whilst Tito Vilanova reflected on the history Barcelona have now made.

The Anchovies fell to an eventual 3-1 defeat at La Rosaleda, but their Coach was left regretting a lapse in concentration that allowed Lionel Messi to make it 1-0 before half-time was reached.

“We do not need to know that it costs a lot to beat Barca. Initially we made a mistake in an even game, it was a silly mistake that opened up the game,” Pellegrini told reporters.

“And then a good move in the fourth minute of the second half made it 2-0 and then they played very comfortably.

“We could have done more if we had not made the silly mistake we had. The ball was shared between the teams, they had few chances at our goal and the gift was decisive.

“It is a result that is amplified by the second half, they had the ability to put together a good move and it gave them more tranquillity.

“I am left with the feeling that in the first half if the score had been goalless then the game would have been ours.

“Hopefully in Barcelona [in the Copa del Rey in midweek] we can play a good game, but these games are difficult.

“Our first half to the season? It has been good, with the Champions League we have qualified and we have 31 points in the League. In the Cup we are currently still there, so I’m very happy.”

Barcelona’s win made it 55 points collected from a possible 57 during the first half of the fixture list, which broke the League record previously set by the club two seasons before.

For Vilanova, this on-the-pitch work is important in his off-the-pitch battle.

“I have had many messages of support, but I want to be valued for my work, not my illness. Football to me is not work, but a pleasure. It is my best therapy,” commented the Coach at the end of the game.

“We are very pleased to have earned 55 points from a possible 57. It is incredible to have won 10 games on the road.

“And the players who are not yet in the first team showed against Cordoba that they are at a high level and that gives me peace of mind for the future. The key is that the players are very good.

“With some, like Busquets and Pedro, I have been working for six years and with others, four, have already acquired concepts. They want to win. otherwise, there would be nothing to do.

“Possibly we may not repeat a run like this. It would not be normal. There is the Champions League and the Copa… Atletico are 11 points behind, we have to go to their ground and to Madrid… It was unthinkable to have this advantage early in the season.

“It would not be possible without the ambition of a few players who have won so many titles. The desire to win is key to the team.

“Are we invincible? We are not. We know what it costs for us to win and we have seen this today. There are many teams that can make things difficult. If we lower our level, we will lose many games.

“The League is not won. It is a great advantage, but we must continue.”

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