By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The second half of this season has seen Frank Rijkaard's revolution bear magical fruits - with this current side evoking memories of Johan Cryuff's 'Dream Team'.
Within 35 minutes Barca were three goals to the good and Malaga were fortunate to keep the total to such a humble figure.
At the hub, as always, was Ronaldinho - conducting with panache and constantly probing with exquisite flicks and sublime passes.
For all the genius of the Brazilian, it was Javier Saviola and Luis Garcia who proved the architects of the game's first two goals.
First, Saviola picked at the seam of the Malaga backline and exposed a gaping hole down the right flank.
Luis Garcia, a floating and sublime figure throughout, fed a perfect ball back and the little Argentinian produced a finish befitting of such a fine move.
Five minutes later, in the 23rd minute, Saviola returned the compliment - another majestic ball and this time the Spaniard Garcia finished with style and aplomb.
Chances then came and passed for Ronaldinho, Saviola, and Garcia twice - before the veteran Dutch captain Philip Cocu gave the scoreline a more realistic look.
After Xavi won the ball well and fed Cocu - the Barca anchorman let fly with a majestic effort from 20 yards - keeper no chance and 3-0.
Without the prowess of Malaga keeper Juan Catatyud, Barcelona may have hit double figures - in a performance that whets the appetite for next weekend's derby with Real Madrid.
Ronaldinho was the game's star - Barcelona's matador playing against a Malaga side that had it been a bull would have been put down.
Valencia's bid to bring the title to the Estadio Mestalla was resurrected after a last minute Mista strike rescued a point at Real Sociedad.
In a pulsating and often ill-tempered game, Valencia overturned a 2-0 deficit to earn a point which could prove pivotal in the race for La Liga.
Basque outfit Sociedad took the lead in the 65th minute through Xabi Alonso and five minutes later doubled their advantage through a Valery Karpin spot-kick.
However, Valencia's Spanish international Vicente continued his exhilarating recent form with a goal in the 72nd minute and then Mista kept Che's title aspirations intact with a last minute leveller.
The Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan witnessed seven goals as a rampant Sevilla side put five past Racing Santander.
Julio Baptiste was the game's outstanding performer, plundering four goals in a display of striking expertise.
Francisco Javi Guerrero and Sergio Matabuena registered consolations for Racing, before Federico Magallanes sealed the victory.
Miserable Murcia's desperate season continued after another home defeat, this time to Real Betis.
Marcus Assuncao proved the game's match-winner - with his third minute strike enough to claim maximum spoils for Betis.
Osasuna's eye-catching Liga campaign suffered a setback, after Espanyol took the points in an impressive 3-1 victory.
The Estadio El Sadar was made to suffer in silence as goals from Raul Tamudo, Alex Fernandez and Maxi cancelled out a Pablo Garcia leveller early in the second half.
Villarreal's dream season continued with an excellent away-day win in Mallorca.
Goals from Quique Alvarez and Marti gave the visitors a 2-1 victory - with Samuel Eto'o replying with a penalty on 45 minutes for Mallorca.
Celta Vigo's chances of avoiding the drop were boosted by a 2-0 victory over Albacete.
Goals from Juanfran and Gustavo Lopez secured the win.