Barcelona Win 0-4 At Son Moix Stadium As LaLiga Restart

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Barcelona thrashed Real Mallorca 4-0 on Saturday night at Son Moix in their first match back since the coronavirus halt in action.

Arturo VidalMartin BraithwaiteJordi Alba and Lionel Messi got the goals as the Catalan side scooped up another three points for their title challenge.

There was a big surprise in the starting XI of Barcelona boss Quique Setien, with Braithwaite filling in for Luis Suarez and with Ronald Araujo in central defence in place of the still-not-100-percent-fit Samuel Umtiti.

Barcelona showed no rust after the three-month layoff and had a 1-0 lead after just 66 seconds through Vidal.

Frenkie de Jong won back a ball deep in the Mallorca area and then fed a pass to Jordi Alba, who swung in a cross and the Chilean speared the header in for the goal.

The visitors were swarming their hosts, constantly opening up the Mallorca defence and with some better finishing they would have tacked on another goal or two.

Instead, it was still a one-goal affair midway through the first half when Mallorca came inches away from levelling on a rare foray forward that ended with Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen stretching to tip away a Takefusa Kubo shot.

The Real Madrid loanee had another good crack at goal from a freekick later in the half and again Ter Stegen had to be on his toes to keep the Japanese starlet off the scoresheet.

Mallorca were enjoying their best moment of the first half when Barcelona managed to notch their second.

De Jong again did well to keep a ball alive in the Mallorca half which allowed Messi to flick a header over to a wide-open Braithwaite, who let the ball take a short hop before hammering in a right-footer for a 2-0 lead.

Mallorca came out strong to start the second half and Ante Budimir was unlucky not to have halved the deficit when his strike to finish a counterattack sliced wide.

After replacing Vidal with Ivan Rakitic to start the second stanza, Setien made his second change before the hour mark, with Suarez on for Antoine Griezmann.

The change invigorated the Barcelona attack and Messi crafted back-to-back chances that somehow failed to find the back of the net.

The first was a pass slipped into Braithwaite, whose shot was deflected wide by Mallorca stopper Manolo Reina, and the second was a cross that was dummied by Suarez for Araujo to hit the post.

Later it was Sergi Busquets and Sergi Roberto departing for Arthur and Nelson Semedo, respectively, but Mallorca were still very much in the mix and complicating matters for the Barcelona defence.

Barcelona needed that third goal to kill off the game and it arrived in due time when Messi found a streaking Jordi Alba, who finished with aplomb past Reina.

Messi himself got on the scoresheet himself in stoppage time, with the aid of a deflection, to complete the big win, one that puts Barcelona five points clear ahead of Real Madrid‘s return on Sunday.

Match Sheet:

0.- Mallorca: Reina; Pozo, Valjent, Raillo, Sastre (Fran Gomez, min. 46); Dani Rodriguez, Salva Sevilla (Yannis Salibur, min. 84), Pedraza (Baba, min. 57), Kubo; Cucho (Lago Junior, min. 46), Budimir (Abdon Prats, min. 85)

4.- Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto (Semedo, min. 71), Pique, Araujo, Jordi Alba; Busquets (Arhtur, min. 71), De Jong (Junior Firpo, min. 84), Vidal (Rakitic, min. 46); Messi, Braithwaite, Griezmann (Suarez, min. 57)

Goals: 0-1, min. 2: Vidal; 0-2, min. 37: Braithwaite; 0-3, min. 80: Jordi Alba; 0-4, min.90+4: Messi

Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (Comunidad de Madrid).

Yellow Cards: Vidal (Min. 42) for Barcelona, Jordi Alba (Min. 73) for Barcelona, Dani Rodriguez (Min. 86) for Mallorca

Red cards: None

Stadium: Son Moix

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