De Jong and Ter Stegen give Barça victory in Mallorca

The 0-1, conquered with much suffering, brings the Catalans closer to the places that give access to the Champions League and leaves Luis García Plaza’s team closer to the relegation zone. The second victory in 19 days for the Catalans away from the Camp Nou (they also beat Villarreal) has the added value due to the circumstances – all contrary to their interests – in which it was forged.

Xavi Hernández, who had already been opposed to the game being played, could only have eleven players from the first team; he left two of those available, Lenglet and Umiti, on the bench and drew an eleven with two reinforcements from the subsidiary, Ilias Akhomach and Ferrán Jutglà.

In total, among the casualties due to infections, injuries and other reasons, the Catalan coach did not have 16 players on the island. Under these circumstances Xavi rebuilt the eleven with Araújo as an improvised left back, Riqui Puig, in the center of the field, Jutglà and Ilias in the attack accompanying Luuk de Jong.

Mallorca lined up a very recognizable eleven. He drew better than his rival the handicap of the four coronavirus absences reported this week – their identities are still unknown – and his most important loss was that of the Japanese Take Kubo, who was not even on the bench.

The game had a clear dominance from the beginning. The Catalans minimized their rival, locked him up in his field and did not let him maneuver. In the first 20 minutes there was no approach of the premises to the goal of Ter Stegen; Neither did Barça create too much danger, with the exception of a shot by Ilias (min. 9), which Reina deflected to a corner.

Shortly after, Luuk de Jong would become the main protagonist of the game by crashing, in one minute, two shots on the post and on the crossbar, the second of them after a spectacular Chilean. The Dutch striker had his prize (min, 43) when he connected a header after a cross from Mingueza that slipped into the goal after the slip of goal Manolo Reina. The 0-1 punished a Mallorca that only created some danger through two free kicks executed by the South Korean Kang-in Lee.

The Catalans were more conservative in the resumption. He stopped the momentum with which he faced the crash and allowed the Majorcan reaction, which already in the 55th minute asked for a penalty for a fall by Antonio Sánchez in the area. Mallorca was more daring, willing to take advantage of any mistake, such as the one made by Jutglà when he lost a ball that caused the maximum foul claimed by Sánchez, which Mateu Lahoz did not appreciate as such.

Lenglet replaced Mingueza, with muscular problems, with which, Araujo went to the right side. Estanis also entered for Ilias. García Plaza’s team burned all their ships in search of a tie. He had it on several occasions, the clearest one, in injury time.

A savior Ter Stegen stopped a point-blank shot from Jaume Costa to prevent the local tie. The German goalkeeper was the hero of his team and was recognized by his teammates, who hugged him at the end of the game celebrating a victory that leaves him one point in the Champions League.

Mallorca tried it in a very tense final, but could not prevent the second defeat of the season at home.

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