FC Barcelona 5-0 Real Mallorca
Real Mallorca were dealt a footballing lesson in the Camp Nou as Barcelona strolled to a simple 5-0 victory. A Lionel Messi hat-trick within the first 30 minutes of the game killed the game before there was even any life in it. A goal on his professional debut for Isaac Cuenca helped secure the victory just four minutes into the second half of a game which was played mostly at walking pace.
Gianni Zuiverloon failed to fully recover from injury and so was only named on the substitutes bench with Pau Cendrós continuing at right back and Chico returned to central defence alongside Iván Ramis. The main shock in Caparrós’ selection, however, was his 4-3-3 formation with B team striker Álvaro chosen in the central strikers role ahead of both Tomer Hemed and Víctor Casadesús, who could only be named on the substitutes bench.
Barcelona predictably started well with Dudu Aouate forced into early saves. But Mallorca should’ve undoubtedly taken the lead after just five minutes when João Victor met a low cross at the near post but could only steer it wide.
But when you are a club of Mallorca’s size, you don’t get many chances in the Camp Nou and that bad miss immediately proved to be costly. A looped cross saw Villa head the ball back which hit Emilio Nsue’s arm with the referee immediately pointing to the penalty spot. Despite not knowing much about it, his arms were raised earning him a yellow card too.
Lionel Messi confidently stepped up to easily convert the penalty after just 13 minutes to give Barça the lead.
And then two minutes later, David Villa could’ve doubled their advantage when he got in behind the Mallorca defence. But Aouate made a good stop one-on-one, conceding only a corner.
It didn’t take too long for Barça to double their advantage, however. Cuenca easily beat Bigas on the wing and the cross saw Adriano unmarked at the back post. His attempted shot was scuffed and bounced across the six yard box and Leo Messi was on hand and unmarked to comfortably slot home.
Messi claimed his hat-trick just inside the half-hour mark when a fantastic Dani Alves cross from deep saw Messi all too easily find space again to volley home an exquisite strike.
Mallorca were lucky not to be four down on 32 minutes when Ramis dwelled on the ball in midfield to cheaply give possession away. The resulting play saw Aouate make a save but clashing with João Victor and both players going down hurt. The Barça strike at an almost open goal was blocked by a sprawled João Victor on the floor.
Pep Guardiola decided to bring Gerard Piqué on for Eric Abidal at half time whilst Caparrós made two changes. Martí Crespí replaced Iván Ramis and Gianni Zuiverloon replaced Fernando Tissone in midfield.
It made no difference, however, as Barça easily resumed control in the second half. And with just four minutes of the second half on the clock, a through ball saw Cuenca race in behind the Mallorca defence and take the ball round Dudu Aouate to make it 4-0.
The game tailed off as both sides reduced the game to a walking pace. But with ten minutes to go, Barça nearly added another. A wayward shot saw Gerard Piqué turn the ball past a badly position Dudu Aouate but Chico had made his way back to the goal line to head the ball over the bar.
A terrible challenge by Pedro Bigas on Leo Messi at the end of the game saw the defender booked capping off another miserable night for him, with more eyebrows raised about his suitability for the left back role. Straight from the free-kick, Messi rolled the ball to Dani Alves who came forward a few yards before launching an unstoppable strike which cracked the underside of the bar and went in giving Aouate no chance.
Mallorca never looked like they even wanted to play in this game, and were always running scared as soon as Messi scored his first. It was an embarrassing performance from a team clearly fearful and lacking confidence. Los Bermellones can be thankful to both the home side and referee that the result wasn’t a cricket score with both parties being lenient on the visiting team following the third goal.
It doesn’t get much easier for Caparrós and Mallorca who will need to dust themselves off ready for the visit of Sevilla to the Iberostar Estadi next Saturday.
FC Barcelona (4-3-3): Víctor Valdés; Alves , Mascherano, Abidal (Piqué 45′), Adriano; Thiago, Busquets (Puyol 58′), Keita; Cuenca, Messi, Villa (Deulofeu 63′).
Substitutes: Pinto (gk); Puyol, Montoya, Piqué; Fàbregas, Iniesta; Deulofeu.
Goal: Messi 13′ pen, 21′, 29′; Cuenca 49′; Alves 90′.
Real Mallorca (4-3-3): Aouate; Cendrós, Ramis (Martí Crespí 45′), Chico, Bigas ; João Victor, Martí (Victor 74′), Tissone (Zuiverloon 45′); Nsue , Álvaro, Castro.
Substitutes: Calatayud (gk); Zuiverloon, Martí Crespí; Pereira, Alfaro; Hemed, Víctor.
Referee: Pedro Pérez Montero (ESP).
Stadium: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia.