Barcelona suffer La Liga defeat at Malaga

However, Neymar then sarcastically applauded the fourth official, meaning he could be handed a two to three-game ban.

Malaga finally picked off the 10 men in the final minute when Pablo Fornals unselfishly squared for Jony to smash home from close range.

Things went from bad to worse after the interval with a second booking for Neymar-his first red card in La Liga - following a reckless foul on Diego Llorente near the corner flag.

Barcelona striker Neymar (left) is shown a red card by the referee during their La Liga encounter against Malaga on Saturday.

Luis Enrique labelled some of the yellow cards distributed in Saturday's game to Malaga "special" and "curious" but refused to respond to talk of Neymar being given an extended ban.

The linesman's choice could not have any influence on the final result, nevertheless, as Malaga got their second goal after all in the dying minutes.

Lionel Messi sent his free kicks over the bar, Andres Iniesta lost an easy ball in midfield, and Neymar got booked for not giving enough space for a free kick while tying up his laces.

0 - Málaga are the first side which have kept clean sheets in both their meetings with Barcelona in La Liga this season.

Barca hand control of the title race back to Real Madrid, who are three points ahead with a game in hand.

In news which may add salt to Barcelona's wounds, Gil Manzano will officiate the most important match of Barcelona's season against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The tie quickly turned ugly as the referee was called to stop play on numerous ocassions as tempers flaired and cinical challenges became frequent, while the Catalans grew frustrated by their struggles to find an equaliser. Therefore Barcelona is virtually 6 points behind Madrid with only 7 matches to play...

The champions failed to capitalise on LaLiga leaders Real Madrid surrendering a late lead against Atletico Madrid as goals from former Barca forward Sandro Ramirez and Jony secured maximum points for the hosts at La Rosaleda. They took the lead in the 32nd minute when Sandro - who left for Malaga this summer - fired past Marc-Andre ter Stegen. "It was tough, but we got the draw thanks to a great pass by Angelito", Griezmann said afterward.

  • Julie Sanders