Three great goals sink Mallorca (0-3)
FC Barcelona may have been without Valdés, Alves, Puyol and Xavi for the game in Mallorca, but they again demonstrated the depth in talent that Guardiola has at his disposal. Messi, Villa and Pedro were on target in the 3-0 win and Montoya made his f
This always looked like a potentially tricky game for Barça against a Mallorca side who had taken a point from the Nou Camp earlier in the season, but despite going into it without five of his first team squad (Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Xavi and Jeffren) Guardiola was able to count on a great squad and a brilliant front three who got the goals to take the three valuable points.
The win leaves Barça on 68 points with an amazing 76 goals scored in 25 games.
Hosts look lively early on
Mallorca looked the brighter at the start of the game as Barça lined up with Iniesta filling Xavi’s role and Keita filling in for him on the left. Maybe it was the changes in personnel or maybe it was Mallorca’s pressure, but Barça were finding it tough to threaten their hosts’ goal, whilst Mallorca themselves were looking dangerous on the break.
Gradually though, Guardiola’s team began to find their feet and Messi, with a shot over the top, and Adriano with an individual effort that ended in a cross which no one could latch onto gave notice of the leaders’ intentions. Inevitably it fell to the Argentinean to open the scoring when Keita lobbed a ball over the home defence and Messi was able to cleverly head over the approaching keeper.
Villa n target again
The second half saw Barça come out much more fired up and they controlled possession and pushed Mallorca back into their own area. A second was coming and it was David Villa who scored it, breaking the hosts’ offside trap to get on the end of a Busquets through ball, round the keeper and stroke the ball home to score in his fourth consecutive game.
Pedro gets the third
A few minutes later, Pedro scored an equally fine goal, firing home from outside the box with a shot that came off the Mallorca defender Nsue. At three up, the boss sent on Bojan and Afellay, as well as giving Montoya his first team debut. He’ll no doubt always remember it – a three nil win and confirmation of Barça’s spot at the top of the table.
Preview Eight years of joySon Moix is a place where FC Barcelona have been doing well of late. On their last eight visits they have won seven times and lost just once, in the 2008/09 season, but that was practically with a reserve team after the championship had already been mathematically clinched.
More epic than everJordi Clos
Barça defends the league lead tonight against Michael Laudrup’s Mallorca (20.00, GolT, Canal+ Liga and R@dio Barça) but will have to do so without any of Puyol, Jeffren, Valdés, Alves or Xavi.
After a rare week without any midweek football, Barça have a packed schedule from now on with games every three or four days. And there is very little room for error. Mallorca is the first test, but after that they have another tough away trip to Valencia, and then entertain Zaragoza and Arsenal (in the Champions League return leg) before going to Sevilla and the Sanchez Pizjuán. That’s quite some schedule.
And they start doing all that without any of the injured Puyol, Jeffren, Valdés or Xavi while Dani Alves is out through suspension. That’s why the squad has been bolstered by three members of the reserves in Miño, Montoya and Thiago.
So Barça will need to draw on the very best of their famous winning spirit to once again overcome adversities, just like they did last week against Athletic Bilbao, where they soldiered on to get three vital points that mean they are still five clear of their major rival, Real Madrid. A win in Mallorca would momentarily stretch that lead to eight points.
Mallorca, a revelation
Mallorca will be hoping for something similar to their first meeting with FCB this season, a surprise draw at the Camp Nou. The islanders, led by former Barcelona men in Michael Laudrup and Miquel Àngel Nadal, are one of the sensations of the championship. They are eleventh and have some very talented young players in their squad, and have won seven of the twelve games played to date at the Iberostar Stadium. There biggest injury woe is the loss of centre back Ivan Ramis.