Depay & Busquets send Barca second

LaLiga

FC Barcelona returned to second spot on the LaLiga table with a 2-1 victory over RCD Mallorca on Sunday evening.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez hauled in Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Memphis Depay as their three changes from the 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, with Ansu Fati back on the bench.

The three home defeats on the spin didn’t seem to affect the Catalans inside five minutes as a header from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced a quick reaction save off Sergio Rico from Gavi’s delivery.

Mallorca launched a threat too after a few minutes when a ball across goal from Brian Olivan saw Fer Nino side-foot over before Ronald Araujo had a header disallowed for offside at the other end.

It took the Catalans only a spell of 25 minutes to make the breakthrough though when Memphis Depay picked up a pass over the top from Jordi Alba and fired into the bottom corner.

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Barcelona didn’t manage to keep the same starting eleven two minutes later after a troubled injury on Pique forced them to introduce Eric Garcia in place of the veteran.

The Blaugrana maintained advantage over seven minutes after the resumption and nabbed a second goal after a loose ball outside the area saw Sergio Busquets collect to find the bottom-corner.

Xavi’s side seemed to have bagged a third near the final minutes from a goal-mouth scramble by Ferran Torres, but it didn’t stand following an offside as Fati entered much to a delighted crowd.

Mallorca put up a late fight in the last 12 minutes after Antonio Jose Raillo Arenas stayed level with the defence and tucked home Salva Sevilla’s delivery.

However, the Catalans regained control and looked for a third well into the final few seconds through Ousmane Dembele and Fati, but 2-1 was how the encounter ended.

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