Arturo Vidal, Martin Braithwaite, Jordi Alba, and Lionel Messi have all been on goal in LaLiga as Barcelona beat Real Mallorca 4-0 to win. It had been three months since the leaders last played because of the coronavirus-enforced break, but it took less than two minutes to go through Vidal ‘s header.
Braithwaite played in his first goal for the club before the break-in eight minutes. The game also saw the return of Luis Suarez from injury. Alba scored his goal 11 minutes before Messi wrapped up victory in injury as Barca left Real Madrid five points ahead of the return of Los Blancos on Sunday to practice.
There was no sign of any rust in Quique Setien ‘s ranks, as Barca went ahead after just 65 seconds.
Frenkie de Jong stole Real Madrid loan, Takefusa Kubo, in midfield and Alba sent the ball into the box, with Vidal running on the cross and pointing his header to the bottom-left corner of the net. As both Braithwaite and Messi came close before Mallorca eventually woke up, Barca threatened early on with putting the game to bed. When Marc-Andre ter Stegen was pressured into a decent save from the edge of the box before being thwarted again with a low free-kick, Kubo looked forward to making corrections.
Yet before the interval, the leaders doubled their lead after a scrappy build-up that included De Jong and Messi headed flick-ons, Braithwaite clinically dispatched the ball to home.
Mallorca almost found a way back into the match shortly after the restart but Ante Budimir’s first attempt was always to turn away from Ter Stegen as it flew high.
Setien brought out on Suarez – due to a knee injury since January – and this seemed to galvanize Messi, who set up Braithwaite and Ronald Araujo for efforts that were prevented by Manolo Reina and the post respectively.
However, Messi would not be denied a second assist, as he cleverly flicked the ball over the top of Alba, who only managed to remain on the side and finish in the near post. Messi had enough time to get on the scoresheet for the seventh straight game against Mallorca as he held his composure in the box before working space and shooting right-footed high up into the net.
Three days later on Tuesday, Barcelona host Leganes before heading to Seville, as the LaLiga fixtures come thick and strong. Mallorca will fly next to Villarreal, which will have a critical clash with Leganes on Friday.