After three consecutive defeats at home in the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona ended their negative streak with a narrow but deserved victory against RCD Mallorca.
Xavi made three changes on the Catalan side after the 1-0 defeat at home to Rayo Vallecano: Dani Alves, Piqué and Depay started instead of Dest (muscle injury), Garcia and the injured Dembelé (both on the bench).
In the first 20 minutes or so, Mallorca held up well, interfering early and occasionally showing pace on the edge of the penalty area. However, Barça had the first big chance. Aubameyang failed with a header against Sergio Rico, who made a great save (6th).
Midway through the first half, the game picked up pace. Fer Nino missed a great chance for Mallorca from close range in front of the empty goal (19.), on the other side the supposed lead by Araujo did not count due to a narrow offside position (23.). Shortly afterwards, however, Depay, who had received a dream pass from Jordi Alba, made it 1:0 for Barcelona (25.).
As the first half progressed, the game became more one-sided. Barça was now superior, even if the big scoring opportunities were missing until the final whistle.
Busquets accurate, Raillo surprising
The second half began with a period of pressure from the Catalans, which consequently culminated in the 2:0, which Busquets scored with an accurate touchdown from the edge of the penalty area (54th). In the following, Barcelona remained oppressively superior, but missed opportunities to score further goals.
In the first 25 minutes or so after the restart, there was nothing to be seen of Mallorca offensively, which made it all the more surprising that RCD scored in the 79th minute after a standard situation through Raillo, who scored with his knee. In the end, however, it remained a highly deserved victory for the Catalans.
In the final 15 minutes, Barcelona’s young star Ansu Fati made his comeback after another long injury break since the beginning of November.
Barça will face Betis next Saturday (9pm), while Mallorca will host Granada FC seven hours earlier at 2pm.