Spanish Primera : Barcelona 5-0 Mallorca
Lionel Messi masterminded a 5-0 win over Mallorca for Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.
- Match Reporter – Luke Salvin-Hughes
- Both teams came into tonight’s game off the back of poor performances midweek, with Barcelona just doing enough to beat Granada 1-0 and Mallorca losing 2-1 at home to Sporting Gijon.
The game began with Barcelona containing most of the early possession, but Mallorca were first to create the first scoring opportunity. Gonzalo Castro was put through on the right and his low cross was met by Bruno Victor, who somehow couldn’t get his shot on target from a few yards out.
Lionel Messi started to drop deep allowing David Villa to take up the centre forward role, and it paid off. With 12 minutes played Messi picked out Adriano, who was running into the box from the left, and when Adriano headed the ball back across the box Emillo Nsue handled the ball to give away a penalty. Lionel Messi missed his last penalty against Sevilla, but he made no mistakes this time and smashed the ball into the top right of the net.
Messi was again involved three minutes later. His defence-cutting pass found David Villa on the right, but Aouate saved well to save Mallorca going further behind.
Isaac Cuenca was again picked to play on the right wing, with Pedro picking up an injury midweek at Granada. His cross on the 21 minute mark found Adriano at the far side of the box, who then scuffed a shot into the path of Messi and he finished the move to get his second goal of the night.
Victor Valdes hadn’t conceded for almost 730 minutes, but the impressive run could have been ended by Alvaro after 27 minutes. Aouate sent a long ball into the Barcelona half which was met by a poor header by Mascherano, but Alvaro couldn’t capitalise and he ran straight into Valdes.
Barcelona started to get a grip on the game which allowed both Adriano and Dani Alves to push forward, and it was Alves who assisted Messi’s third goal. The Brazilian sent a beautiful curved cross from the right, which went straight behind the Mallorca back four, and Messi stroked the ball first time into the net to complete his hat trick.
By 33 minutes it was almost 4-0. Cuenca found space on the right whose cross found its way to Adriano, but his shot was blocked by Victor who was laid on the floor just in front of the goal line.
Gerard Pique replaced Eric Abidal at the beginning of the second half, who was returning from a hamstring injury sustained in the home game against Racing Santander.
Cuenca was having a great game on the right wing, and his game was about to get even better. With 50 minutes gone Adriano’s through ball was met by the young skilful winger, and he rounded the goalkeeper coolly to slot in Barcelona’s fourth.
Carles Puyol replaced Sergio Busquets on the 59th minute mark after returning from a groin injury and played the rest of the game at centre back with Pique. Mascherano was then pushed forward into the holding midfielder role.
Pique was next to test Aouate in the Mallorca goal. Thiago Alcantara sent in a corner from the left which was met by Dani Alves, and his scuffed shot was almost turned in by Pique whose shot was blocked on the line by Florez fantastically.
Barcelona were now sure to extend their unbeaten run to 28 matches, and the night was to end on a high. Messi took a quick free kick on the right to Dani Alves who unleashed a dipping shot from distance which came off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Barcelona’s next game is away from home against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League. Pep Guardiola will be keen to make sure that the performance away to Granada is not repeated, and will be hoping that his side are in prime position to qualify for the knock out stages by the end of next Tuesday night.
Barcelona: Valdés, Alves, Mascherano, Abidal(Pique 45), Adriano, Keita, Sergio(Puyol 59), Thiago, Villa(Deulofeu 64), Messi, Cuenca
Mallorca: Aouate, Joao, N. Ramis(Crespi 45), Nsue, Chori Castro, Chico Flores, Marti(Victor 74), P. Cendros, Tissone(Zuiverloon 45), Bigas, Alvaro
Messi 13 (pen.), 21, 30, Cuenca 50, Dani Alves 90