Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola felt his side were back to near their best during their 2-1 home win over Malaga, even though they needed a late strike from Lionel Messi to seal the points.
Guardiola admitted earlier this week that his sextuple winners were struggling to find top gear but he was far happier following last night’s victory which kept the Catalan giants two points clear of Real Madrid at the Primera Division summit.
Madrid had briefly taken over top spot with their 5-1 defeat of Tenerife earlier in the evening but Barca reclaimed pole position thanks to Messi’s 84th-minute winner.
That goal came three minutes after Malaga had stunned their hosts by drawing level, but the three points were no more than Barca deserved after spending the majority of the match on the attack.
“We had probably one of our best games at home. We can say we’ve done well. We’ve been much better than in recent games,” said Guardiola following the win.
“We didn’t deserve to be 1-1. We’ve returned to being ourselves, we played a very good football match and this is the path to follow.”
Barca captain Carles Puyol echoed the thoughts of his coach, saying: “We’ve gone out strongly and with a lot of intensity, it was a shame that they got level but the important thing is the three points.
“We’re back to playing our game, which is what we were looking for. We suffered when they equalised, but the team reacted well and we’ve won.