Barcelona 5-2 RCD Mallorca: 3 reasons why the Blaugrana won the match | LaLiga 2019/2020
This evening, Camp Nou was treated to an exciting affair that saw seven goals in the space of 90 minutes, and it was Barcelona that came out on top with all three points.
Everything started with a Mallorca corner that resulted in a goal kick. Marc Andre ter Stegen sighted a free Antoine Griezmann, and he took a quick goalkick that stunned an unprepared Mallorca defence. The Frenchman ran past a distracted Mallorca defence, charged into the final third, and easily lifted the ball past an onrushing Manolo Reina into the goal to open the scoring.
Only ten minutes after, Lionel Messi was on hand to score a scorching effort that doubled the Blaugrana's lead. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner damned the well-structured defence as he sent a left-footed curler past Reina's outstretched arms and into the left top corner of the goal.
Mallorca were able to shock the hosts for a moment as they put a goal past ter Stegen and brought down the deficit to one. 36 minutes in, a weighted pass from Salva Sevilla saw Ante Budimir take the ball past the defensive line and hit an effort at goal. Thanks to Clement Lenglet's sliding foot, the ball took a strong deflection that saw it chip over ter Stegen and into the right corner of the goal.
With little time left in the first half, Barca found their rhythm again and put an end to any hopes or a Mallorca comeback. A counter-attack saw quick one-touch passes that brought the hosts dangerously close to the final third. Outside the box, Ivan Ratikic sent the ball to Messi's feet, and the dimunitive magician unleashed another curler that increased Barca's tally to three.
The Mallorcan defence strategy had totally crumbled, and only two minutes later, in a dashing moment of sheer brilliance, Luis Suarez added his name to the scoresheet in beautiful fashion. Frenkie de Jong mesmerizingly cut open the entire defence with a number of one-two passes, after which he laid it on for Suarez. The Uraguyan didn't even bother to turn to get a clear shot; he backheeled a chip above and beyond the keeper into the bottom corner of the goal.
Some words of encouragement were surely given during the half-time break, as Mallorca came back for the second half with renewed energy and they added another goal to make it 4-2. Dashing down the right-wing on the overlap and receiving the ball, Fran Gamez sent in an inch-perfect cross to meet Budimir. The Croatian wasted no time in rising above the Barca defenders and powering his header right into the goal.
However, it was too late for them, and Barca captain Lionel Messi was not yet done for the night. Barca held possession in Mallorca's half and sought to find a way through. An opportunity presented itself with Sergio Busquests picking out a dashing Sergi Roberto down the right-wing. The right-back laid the ball to Suarez who, in turn, laid it back for Messi to power the ball into the roof of the net.
It was quite a night to witness at the Camp Nou, and it ended with Barcelona maintaining their pole position at the top of the La Liga table. Mallorca, on the other hand, are only a slot away from relegation, and the results of this game certainly increases their chances of entering the red zone.
Without further ado, let's take a look at three reasons why the Blaugrana won the game
#3 Mallorca's defending was absymal at all the wrong moments
While Messi's scorching first goal could barely be defended against by even the best teams, a number of other goals were stoppable but Mallorca had either lost the drive or the willpower to play such an outstanding Barcelona side.
Suarez's crazy backheel goal saw Frenkie de Jong meander around the entire defence with barely anyone tackling him or actively doing anything to intercept the ball. The team may have kept their shape defensively, but what good will that do if the opponent is going to simply run around you?
Griezmann's goal early in the game was just a show of things to come. A talented group of Mallorca defenders chose the worst possible moment to be lackadasical, and they paid for it in style: ter Stegen picked up an assist today, and that's on Mallorca.