Barcelona 2-1 Mallorca: Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets score as Catalans end run of three home defeats while Ansu Fati makes return from injury  

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Barcelona 2-1 Mallorca: Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets score as Catalans end run of three home defeats while Ansu Fati makes return from injury

  • Barcelona ended their recent struggles at home with a 2-1 win against Mallorca
  • Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets scored with Raillo netting for the visitors 
  • Ansu Fati featured as a substitute as he made his long-awaited return from injury
  • Barcelona are in second place, 15 points adrift of champions Real Madrid

Barcelona ended their historic run of three straight defeats at home with a 2-1 win over Mallorca and they welcomed back Ansu Fati after three and a half months out injured.

It was top scorer Memphis Depay who got their first and when Sergio Busquets doubled the lead in the second half it seemed they were home and dry. Xavi clearly thought so and put on Fati for his first minutes since he was injured away at Athletic Bilbao in January.

But Mallorca had other ideas and battled back with a goal from Antonio Raillo. That made for a nervous finish for Barcelona but they held on to move second in the table.

Sergio Busquets celebrates his goal, which proved to be decisive as Barcelona secured victory

Sergio Busquets celebrates his goal, which proved to be decisive as Barcelona secured victory

Sergio Busquets celebrates his goal, which proved to be decisive as Barcelona secured victory

Busquets scored in the 54th minute with Barcelona ending their recent run of home defeats

Busquets scored in the 54th minute with Barcelona ending their recent run of home defeats

The talented Ansu Fati made his first appearance since January as he returned from injury

The talented Ansu Fati made his first appearance since January as he returned from injury

Barça started brightly and Sergio Rico had to save well from Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s header from Gavi's cross. Gerard Pique felt his groin as early as 12 minutes in. He clearly wasn’t 100 percent but Xavi seems to prefer him not fully fit to any of his fully-fit alternatives.

On 18 minutes Fer Nino blazed over from Brian Olivan’s cross as Mallorca showed they had not just come to defend. But on 22 minutes Barcelona had the ball in the back of the net when Jordi Alba crossed and Ronald Araujo headed past Rico. The offside flag had been correctly raised and the goal was ruled out.

Memphis Depay opened the scoring for Barcelona as he found the net in the 25th minute

Memphis Depay opened the scoring for Barcelona as he found the net in the 25th minute

Depay scored his 12th goal of the season as he opened the scoring in the LaLiga clash

Depay scored his 12th goal of the season as he opened the scoring in the LaLiga clash

When Barcelona finally broke the deadlock it was simple direct football. Pique played the ball out to Jordi Alba and he clipped a brilliant pass over the top to Memphis who had peeled away from Pablo Maffeo. The wing-back tried to recover but could not stop Memphis firing past Rico for 1-0.

Pique’s part in the goal was his last contribution as Eric Garcia replaced him.

MATCH FACTS 

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves (Lenglet 89), Araujo, Pique (Garcia 28), Alba; F. De Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Torres (Dembele 75), Aubameyang (Fati 75), Depay

Subs: Neto, Tenas, Traore, Umtiti, L. De Jong, Puig 

Goals: Depay 25, Busquets 54 

Booked: Gavi, Alba 

Mallorca: Rico; Russo, Raillo, Valjent; Maffeo, Sanchez (Sevilla 70), Battaglia (Kang-In 70), Olivan; Rodriguez (Grenier 60); Angel (Hoppe 89), Nino (Kubo 59)

Subs: Reina, Llabres, Roman, Gonzalez, Baba, Fernandez, Prats 

Goal: Raillo 79 

Booked: Raillo, Maffeo, Grenier 

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Barcelona might have extended their league but Franco Russo slid in to clear before he connected with a pass from Memphis. Frenkie de Jong had started the move with a run from deep and a fine pass.

Busquets doubled the advantage on 54 minutes with his second goal of the season. Alba crossed from the left to Ferran Torres and when his shot was blocked it ran to the captain who buried his shot low past Rico.

Antonio Raillo (second right) reduced the deficit for Mallorca as he scored in the 79th minute

Antonio Raillo (second right) reduced the deficit for Mallorca as he scored in the 79th minute

Raillo's goal wasn't sufficient for Mallorca to get anything out of the game at the Nou Camp

Raillo's goal wasn't sufficient for Mallorca to get anything out of the game at the Nou Camp

Ferran then had two chances to score from close range. He missed from Jordi Alba’s cross but was saved by the offside flag being raised. Then he scored from Memphis’ cross but the flag was raised again.

On 75 minutes Fati came on for Ferran with Ousmane Dembele replacing Aubameyang.

The substitutions were a sign that Xavi thought the game was won; it wasn’t. Salva Sevilla picked out Antonio Raíllo with a flighted free-kick and the centre-back buried the chance past Marc Andre ter Stegen having got to the ball ahead of Garcia and Ronald Arajuo, the latter claiming a non-existent offside.

Barcelona were left relieved when only three minutes were added. They saw them out and sit second with just four games to go. If they beat fifth-placed Betis next weekend Champions League football next season will be all but assured.

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