Sport

Lionel Messi misses Barcelona's tie for third son's birth

Lionel Messi misses Barcelona's tie for third son's birth”

Barcelona had no trouble handing 10-man Malaga another loss despite not counting on Lionel Messi, who missed the match to attend the birth of his third son on Saturday.

Messi was watching the game on a television in hospital as Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho put his team two up inside half an hour at La Rosaleda, before Samuel Garcia was sent off in the 30th minute for a unsafe tackle on Jordi Alba.

The last-16 tie is evenly posted at 1-1 following the Stamford Bridge fixture.

Barcelona remained unbeaten in the Spanish league through all 28 rounds and extended its lead to 11 points over Atletico Madrid, which hosts Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Titleholders Madrid stayed within 15 points of Barca following their hard-fought 2-1 win at Eibar thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's brace.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was delighted with Ousmane Dembele's performance for victory over Malaga.

"We came here expecting a hard night but we managed to score early and, with an extra man, we were able to control the game".

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The Tigers will play the victor of Wednesday's game between Georgia and Vanderbilt in the second round of the SEC tournament. He has not played since Missouri's November 10 season-opener against Iowa State , a game in which he played just two minutes.

- Luis Suarez has scored against all the 25 teams he has faced in LaLiga (106 goals in total).

Ronaldo has roared back from a feeble start to the season, when he scored just once in his first eight league games, to reach 18 goals in the campaign.

His 18 in the competition put him third behind Suarez with 21 and Messi with 24.

"For me he's from another galaxy", Madrid manager Zidane said.

"He knows he's going to score, he's unique and special. The numbers speak for themselves".

Modric was excellent throughout, the Croatian providing a sublime pass with the outside of his foot for Ronaldo's opener. Eibar's Ivan Ramis had equalised in between to give the home side hope. "He showed it again today, he played really well". "We have made an important step toward achieving our goal". The first leg finished 0-0.



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