Mallorca 0-1 Barcelona: Player ratings
A very weak Barcelona won an important 1-0 victory over Mallorca on Sunday night thanks to a Luuk de Jong header in the first half.
Barca entered the game without a host of first-team players due to injury and Covid-19, meaning Oscar Mingueza and Ronaldo Araujo replaced full-back and young Ilias Akhomach and Ferran Jutgla again had improbable starts.
The first half was however devoted to another substitute: De Jong.
His day got off to a bad start when his first shot came out for a throw-in, but the Dutchman improved significantly as the going. First, at full extension, he pushed a strain on the pole and a few minutes later his bicycle kick took off the bar.
Finally, on the stroke of half-time, he scored his goal, soaring high at the far post to greet Mingueza’s deep cross. It was no less than Barca deserved with their hosts barely managing a shot in the first half.
The visitors continued to dominate in the second half, but only seemed to score when they pumped the ball into the box. First, Ronald Araujo failed to make contact with a free header, and then Gerard Pique managed a similar effort.
Meanwhile, Mallorca struggled to break Xavi’s squad apart. However, they had a major fright in the dying embers, with Marc-André ter Stegen having to produce a formidable reflex stop to prevent Jaume Costa’s volley from coming out.
The victory leaves Barca fifth in La Liga, just one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, but still 15 behind leaders Real.
Here are your player ratings …
Marc-André ter Stegen (GK) – 7/10 – Sprayed some nice passes. His death sentence earned him points.
Oscar Mingueza (RB) – 7/10 – A very effective display. He was impeccable defensively and carved out a few chances with his center. I also have a helper.
Gerard Pique (CB) – 8/10 – Took free kicks oddly throughout the match. What a crazy start to 2022. He defended superbly but wasn’t really put to the test. The pass was perfect.
Eric Garcia (CB) – 5/10 – Has drawn the ire of his manager with a questionable cast. The positioning was also poor.
Ronald Araujo (LB) – 6/10 – Didn’t miss a beat despite playing in an unknown role.
Nico (CM) – 7/10 – Such a neat and tidy midfielder. He rarely lost possession and ventured dangerously forward a few times.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 7/10 – Led the game for Barcelona in midfield in the absence of Sergio Busquets.
Riqui Puig (CM) – 7/10 – Made a few questionable decisions at first but never stopped trying to make things happen.
Ilias Akhomach (RF) – 7/10 – Such a wire under tension. He created a series of openings for his team with his passing and direct dribbling. It’s clearly going to be a player.
Luuk de Jong (ST) – 7/10 – Impressed on a rare start, scoring and hitting the woodwork twice. Maybe there is a future for him at Camp Nou after all?
Ferran Jutgla (LF) – 5/10 – The least eye-catching of Barcelona’s top three. It’s hard to imagine him starring once everyone’s back.
Allvaro Sanz (CM) – 6/10 – The last Barcelona youngster to make his first-team debut.
Clement Lenglet (RB) – 6/10
Estanis Pedrola (RF) – N / A
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