Friday 1/21/22
LA LIGA

Mallorca 0-1 Barca: Luuk de Jong seals win for Xavi's depleted side

The result moved the Catalan giants up to fifth, one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid
03 January 2022, Spain, Barcelona: Barcelona's Ferran Torres takes part in a training session for the team at Camp Nou stadium. Photo: Gerard Franco/DAX via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
Barcelona's Ferran Torres takes part in a training session for the team at Camp Nou stadium on Monday. Photo: Gerard Franco/dpa.

Luuk de Jong scored the only goal of the game as a severely depleted Barcelona edged past Real Mallorca 1-0 in LaLiga on Sunday.

Xavi described the decision to force the Blaugrana to play as "crazy" after they were hit with a spate of Covid-19 cases during the mid-season break, but his makeshift side coped admirably against Luis Garcia's men.

De Jong – who had already hit the woodwork twice – headed in his second league goal of the campaign in the 44th minute to seal just a second win in Barca's last six games across all competitions.

The result moved the Catalan giants up to fifth – one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid – while Mallorca remained in 15th.

Barca looked more lively than their hosts in the early stages and went close through Gerard Pique's free-kick and Ferran Jutgla's whipped strike.

De Jong twice went agonisingly close to opening the scoring moments before the half-hour mark, first poking against the post from Ilias Chakkour's pass and then crashing a spectacular bicycle kick off Manolo Reina's crossbar.

A deserved lead

The striker was not to be denied shortly before the interval, though, rising highest at the back post to head home Oscar Mingueza's cross and give Barca a deserved half-time lead.

Barca continued to do much of the pressing after the break, with Pique and De Jong going close to grabbing a second. 

Marc-Andre ter Stegen superbly kept out Jaume Costa's stoppage-time volley as Xavi's side held on to claim a 12th win in their last 13 away LaLiga games against Mallorca.

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