Neymar Sees Red as Barca Suffer Shock Defeat at Malaga

A second defeat for Barcelona in three away outings leaves them three points adrift of Real Madrid, who still have a game in hand to play following El Clasico later this month.

Barcelona suffered a 2-0 defeat against Malaga in Saturday's encounter at the La Rosaleda stadium.

Sandro netted on the break against his former club, with substitute Rodriguez Jony adding a late second after Neymar had seen red after picking up a needless second caution.

Barcelona, who are now at the second spot, could have moved level on points with Real Madrid with a win following the capital side's earlier draw against Atletico Madrid.

We have to be very careful in some games because there have been strong tackles from behind that did not result in a yellow even though they were clearly worth a booking.

Barcelona were in charge right in the off and Luis Suarez came close to giving the Catalans the lead in the 16th minute.

Sandro capitalised on some bad defending from Jeremy Mathieu to sprint clear on goal and slot past MarcAndre ter Stegen at his near post for the opener.

A man down and a goal down, with all three subs used, Enrique's side were badly exposed on the counter a number of times in the remainder and should have been two down when Adalberto Penaranda rounded the keeper and converted, with an incorrect offside flag saving the visitors.

"I had said that Real Madrid doesn't need our help to be champion", said Malaga coach Michel Gonzalez, who once roamed the pitch for Real himself.

Cristiano Ronaldo's shot headed off the line was the pick of the first-half chances, and Madrid finally made the breakthrough on 52 minutes when Toni Kroos' free kick was headed in by Pepe for the defender's first goal since September.

However, Griezmann rounded Keylor Navas to slot home at the near post five minutes from time.

Luis Enrique's side next visit Turin on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Juventus.

Real's six-match win streak ended.

  • Julie Sanders