Goals from Arturo Vidal, Martin Braithwaite, Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi saw Barcelona return to football with an emphatic victory over Real Mallorca.
98 days after playing their last game before Coronavirus made football take an unexpected break, Barcelona returned and hit the ground running immediately at Son Moix Stadium with Arturo Vidal scoring in the first minute.
Frenkie De Jong retrieved the ball for Barça, then dropped it for Jordi Alba, the Spaniard sent in a teasing cross to a running Vidal who headed home the opener.
Mallorca asked questions in the 21st minute through Kubo, but Ter Stegen was in pole position to parry the Japanese star’s shot.
Martin BraithWaite however, struck from close range in the 37th minute for his very first goal, and the second on the night for the league leaders.
Poorly contested loose ball in Mallorca’s 18-yard box saw Messi’s header fall gracefully for Braithwaite, and he pummelled a powerful shot to the roof of the net.
The first 45 minutes ended with Barcelona comfortably leading 2-0.
Second half started with the home side getting a golden opportunity to knick one in, but Budimir’s strike went narrowly off target.
12 minutes in, Luis Suarez made his return since he picked up a knee injury in January. The Uruguayan striker was subbed in for Antoine Griezmann.
Barcelona created two good chances to widen their lead, but Braithwaite made a waste of opportunity handed to him by Messi. While Suarez and Araujo failed to meet Messi’s cross which begged for a tap in.
Quique Setien introduced Arthur and Nelson Semedo to further protect his team’s lead.
In the 79th minute, Lionel Messi turned provider again as Barcelona made it 3-0. The Argentine floated a weighted pass to Jordi Alba, and the left back sprinted well to beat Mallorca’s keeper in the near post.
Question marks were raised over the goal, but VAR replays showed that Alba was inches onside.
Lionel Messi went from provider to goal scorer in the 93rd minute, as his right footed strike turned to be the icing on the cake for the Blaugrana side.
A typical Barcelona display as the Laliga leaders left Mallorca with a 4-0 victory.
The win sees Barcelona provisionally go five (5) points clear at the top of the league.