Barcelona started 2022 on a very good note after ending 2021 on a losing. They beat Reyo Mallorca 1-0 to move to within a point of fourth place in the Spanish La Liga table. Luuk de Jong scored the winning goal with a header at the back post in the first half from Oscar Mingueza’s cross.
Barcelona Return to Winning Ways
Xavi’s side, who were without several first-team players because due to Covid cases and injuries, dominated for large periods but were often frustrated. De Jong was the main threat, hitting the woodwork twice in the first half, including once with a bicycle kick.
Mallorca pushed for an equalizer late on when Dani Rodriguez’s teasing ball was headed inches over the bar by Fer Nino before Marc-Andre ter Stegen was forced into a smart save to deny Jaume Costa.
The hosts remain 15th in the La Liga
Table table. Barca has now closed the gap on fourth-placed rivals Atletico Madrid. Barcelona was missing 17 players in total. The likes of Dani Alves, Ousmane Dembele, Jordi Alba, Philippe Coutinho, Gavi, and Serginho Dest were all missing in the starting lineup.
Earlier this week, Xavi said it was “crazy” that La Liga was allowing the game to go ahead given the state of the teams’ respective squads. But his young players, with an average age of 24 years and 201 days, managed to get the job done.