Barcelona faced minimal opposition from a limp Malaga side as it triumphed 4-1 in a comfortable outing at Camp Nou.
It only took David Villa three minutes to get his team off the mark, with Cesc Fabregas and Martin Montoya making it three inside of sixteen minutes. Andres Iniesta added another as the hosts brought a record-breaking season to a close and not even a superb volleyed goal from substitute Pedro Morales could take the shine off an immensely satisfying evening for the Catalans.
Barca got its chase for a century of points off to the perfect start as it opened the scoring after just three minutes.
A scything through-ball from Iniesta picked out Pedro's diagonal run in from the right and he coolly rolled the ball across the box to offer Villa the simplest of finishes.
The tempo soon slowed in the searing Catalan heat, but with the Blaugrana monopolizing the ball it did not take long for them to add to the score.
With 14 minutes on the clock Fabregas picked up the ball wide on the left and carried it in side, skipping past Diego Lugano and playing a give-and-go with Iniesta. Running across the box, the former Arsenal man then strutted past Weligton before firing the ball past the helpless Wilfred Caballero.
Two minutes later the hosts grabbed their third when, as the ball was only partially cleared from a corner, Montoya lashed a sweetly-struck half volley that arrowed across goal and into the net.
The Catalan giants soon settled back into a rather pedestrian tempo and on the half hour mark los Boquerones almost pulled one back.
A great run from Joaquin initiated a move which saw his team shift the ball smartly out to the left, but a slight deflection off of a stretching Gerard Pique stopped Julio Baptista from rounding off the move with a goal.
Another impressive move early in the second half almost resulted in a goal when Isco released Baptista with an impossible pass from the top of the box. Jose Pinto got down to keep the Brazilian's effort out and Pique was on hand to help him out by clearing Joaquin's follow-up effort off the line.
But Barca heeded its warning and instantly took the ball up the other end and added a fourth. Iniesta was afforded far too much space in a central position, 25 yards from goal, and he punished the opposition by curling a wonderful shot inside the post.
Isco came agonizingly close to getting his team on the scoresheet moments later, but with 57 minutes played Morales succeeded where his teammate failed by emphatically volleying in at the near post from a Jesus Gamez cross.
Malaga was desperate to ensure that that goal was not just a consolation but six minutes later Morales could not match his previous finish, rolling the ball wide of the post after a tidy move involving Isco and Joaquin.
The Blaugrana were guilty of being overly elaborate in the final third throughout the closing stages and Pinto was forced into a spectacular save to stop Baptista from cutting the deficit with an attempt from distance.
Malaga must now hope other results go its way, as well as an appeal to lift the suspension from continental football imposed on them, if it is to qualify for next season's Europa League. Barca, meanwhile, finished its campaign with 100 points, equaling the league record set by Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid last season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Pedro Morales
- Cesc Fabregas