Gerard Pique said the absence of strikers Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez was no excuse for not winning.
They dominated the game, creating several half-chances which they did not capitalise on, with Arda Turan and Rafinha seeing shots blocked and go wide of goal, while Gerard Pique was twice denied by Carlos Kameni.
Barca trail Real Madrid by two points, but only a first Real win in the Spanish capital's derby over Atletico Madrid in La Liga for four seasons later on Saturday will prevent Barca finishing the weekend on top should they register a fifth straight league win.
However, they were unable to break down a Malaga side who ended the game with nine men and sat deeper than even Luis Enrique had imagined.
"The density of the opposition players was incredible".
"They had 10 guys in their area".
"We've had enough chances despite that, though". When you play against a team that only sits back and defends it's always hard.
"It's worrying that we've dropped so many points at home".
"We tried a million and one times", he said.
Barcelone is one of the most unsafe & skillful teams, as the team includes such awesome top class player like Lionel Messi. "Now to pick ourselves up and improve".
Llorente was sent off for a late tackle on Neymar in the 68th minute while Carlos was dismissed for dissent in injury time. "We scored goals that were disallowed and we missed out on the points".
Luis Enrique's charges were dealt a blow before the clash as Lionel Messi was ruled out after falling ill.
Malaga coach Juande Ramos, meanwhile, defended his tactics. "We leave here very sad, I don't think we deserved to lose 3-0", he said. "But we had to play with that extra bit of effort". It would have been suicide not to have played how we played.
Pique then needed to dispossess Sandro on the edge of the penalty area in another risky Malaga counter attack while at the other end Kameni continued to be in fine form when he saved brilliantly from Rafinha after the Brazilian had connected perfectly with Neymar's cross. We didn't change that. Recently Barcelona played 11 matches in which they have won 8 matches, 1 draw match & lost only 2 matches. "Messi would have provided another problem, but we coped with everything they threw at us".