This Tuesday, Barcelona put an end to the good streak it had in the League. Xavi’s team could not go beyond a 2-2 draw in Mallorca in a match in which they fell behind on the scoreboard on two occasions, but in which they managed to get a valuable point in the final moments thanks to a goal from Fermín Lopez. With this tie, the culés are leaders, but they open the door for Girona or Real Madrid to take first place from them this same day.
The match began with the demands of the present schedule. Barça had played three days ago and would do so again in another three, so Xavi tried out an eleven full of new features compared to the team that beat Celta. Araujo, Iñigo Martínez and Balde entered at the back, Gavi took over from the injured Frenkie de Jong and Ferran Torres was the big surprise in Lewandowski’s almost immovable place at the forefront. The battery of changes was indigestible for a team that entered the field of play with stiff legs and overwhelmed by a rival with a knife between his teeth.
Javier Aguirre’s team may not be the most aesthetic team and they may not have countless passing possessions, but they have a pride and character that can only be combated by matching the intensity. That didn’t happen at the beginning. Mallorca pressed on the markers, pressed in the opposite field and at the first turn they found a gift from Ter Stegen. The German goalkeeper failed to start from behind, the ball went to Antonio Sánchez and he gave the goal to Muriqi, who was waiting in the small area for the opportunity to open the scoring and make it clear to Xavi’s men that he was not going to be a peaceful night.
Rajkovic, Maffeo (Jaume Costa, min. 35), Nastasic, Valjent, Copete, Gio González (Van Der Heyden, min. 85), Samu Costa, Antonio Sánchez (Larin, min. 62), Dani Rodríguez (Morlanes, min. 85), Abdón Prats (Darder, min. 62) and Muriqi.
Ter Stegen, Cancelo, Araujo, Inigo Martinez (Koundé, 78th minute), Balde, Oriol Romeu (Fermin, 64th minute), Gündogan, Gavi, Joao Felix (Lamine Yamal, 64th minute), Ferran Torres (Lewandowski, min . 58) and Leaf.
Goals: 1-0: min. 8, Muriqi. 1-1: min. 41, Raphinha. 2-1: min. 48, Abdon Prats. 2-2: min. 75, Fermin Lopez.
Referee: Muñiz Ruiz (Galician Committee). He cautioned Oriol Romeu, Dani Rodríguez, Nastasic and Javier Aguirre.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the seventh day of the League, played in Son Moix before 19,938 spectators.
The goal was shock therapy for Barcelona. The culés took the clash up a gear to the rhythm of Raphinha who throughout the entire first half was the only threat to the locals. The winger rebelled against his team’s lack of freshness in circulation, faced off constantly and was able to disrupt an opponent as tough as cement. Several dangerous crosses came from his boots and he equalized the clash with a violent low shot to the long post against which Rajkovic could do nothing.
The Brazilian footballer himself and Joao Félix could have scored the second in the midst of an exchange of blows, but they did not succeed and woke up Mallorca who used a classic football play to punish the rotations in the Barça defense. Long ball that Muriqi combs and Abdón Prats wins the game against the defense to beat Ter Stegen and send the culés to the locker room behind on the scoreboard.
After the restart, Barcelona prepared for an exercise in patience. Mallorca could not last the entire second half at the same pace as the first and opted to give up meters, reduce spaces and plant a forest of mines for the culés. Xavi’s men looked for solutions from the outside with Balde’s incursions and with distant shots that became a common trend. Joao Felix hit the woodwork from long distance and the Tarrasa coach opted to make a move half an hour before the end of the match, bringing on Lewandowski for an unprecedented Ferran Torres in his great opportunity as nine and Lamine Yamal and Fermín López to contribute freshness.
The changes suited Barça well, which sounded the bugle heading into the final stretch of the match. Lamine Yamal came in hot and turned the match upside down in just two actions. In the first, Muñiz Ruiz needed the VAR to avoid calling a penalty and in the second he started a play that Fermín López finished in the small area to put the final tie and agree with Xavi, who had just conceded the alternative once again to two kids of 16 and 20 years old. Between the two of them they scratched a point that, who knows, could be gold in a few months.
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