A lacklustre Barcelona squandered the chance to go top of La Liga after crashing to a shock 1-0 home defeat by Malaga.

The stage was set for the Catalan side to move two points ahead of Real Madrid, who face Elche on Sunday, but they lacked the slick link-up play that had brought them 11 wins a row.

Seventh-placed Malaga took a surprise lead after Dani Alves tried to nonchalantly side-foot volley a back-pass but Juanmi nipped in before the ball reached Claudio Bravo and he rounded the keeper before slotting into an empty net after seven minutes.

Lionel Messi had scored 12 goals in the previous eight games but he was unable to provide the spark as Barca dominated the possession but could not find a way past a steadfast Malaga defence.

Barca remained a point off Real at the top while later on Saturday third-placed Atletico Madrid, seven points off the pace, are at home to Almeria and Valencia, three points behind them, are away at Cordoba.

Source: Reuters