FC Barcelona went into the game against Mallorca with at least fourteen (14) first team players either injured, suspended or down with Covid 19.
Barca have been struggling recently but seem to have infused life into a woeful season with a stellar performance against Sevilla FC before the Christmas break. The Catalan giants stepped up efforts in Mallorca last night to grab what is unarguably it’s best start to the new year.
With so many FC Barcelona players out of the fixture, and just a few first team squad members around, Xavi couldn’t have found a worse way to start the season. However, the coach relied on what is available and deployed a mixture of Barca B players to deliver a long awaited victory to the Spanish giants.
Luuk de Jong was partnered up front with Ilias Akhomach and Ferran Jutgla as the team’s three man forward for the night. FC Barcelona made the trip to Mallorca without Sergio Busquets (suspended) five injured players (Ansu Fati, Pedri, Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite and Sergi Roberto) while eight players contracted COVID-19 at the club ( Philippe Coutinho, Ez Abde,
Sergino Dest, Alex Balde, Dani Alves,
Jordi Alba, Ousmane Dembele and Gavi ).
Barca dominated proceedings from the get go, with Luuk de Jong hitting the bar twice before scoring the match winner from an Oscar Miguenza cross in the first half.
Although Real Mallorca did mount a massive comeback to equalise the game, they couldn’t because their best final attempt at goal was wonderfully saved by Ter Stegen. The Barca number one definitely saved the Spanish giants another heartbreak at the hourmark, cementing his status as the Man of the Match in the fixture.
The win takes FC Barcelona two places up to fifth on 31 points after 19 matches played. The Catalans are now one point behind Atletico Madrid (4th) who won 2-0 against Rayo Vallecano and 15 points adrift archrivals, Real Madrid who have played a game more and leader of the table.