At home, Barcelona beat Mallorca 2-1 to stop their record losing streak and welcome back Ansu Fati after a three-and-a-half-month injury absence.
Memphis Depay opened the scoring in the first half, while Sergio Busquets extended the advantage in the second half. For the first time since injuring himself away at Athletic Bilbao earlier this year, Xavi put on Fati.
Antonio Raillo scored the only goal of the game for Mallorca. With their nerves frayed, Barcelona held on to climb into second place in the standings.
Gavi’s cross was headed goalward by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, but Sergio Rico made a fine save. Gerard Pique began to feel discomfort in his lower back as early as the 12th minute of the game. However, despite the fact that he was plainly not 100 percent fit, Xavi seemed to prefer him this way to any of his fully-fit counterparts.
As Mallorca proved they weren’t only there to defend, Fer Nino, blasted over after Brian Olivan crossed. After Jordi Alba’s cross was cleared by Ronald Araujo, the Catalans got the ball in the back of the goal after 22 minutes. The goal was disallowed because the offside flag was rightfully raised.
Barcelona’s last goal was a straightforward direct strike. When Pique handed the ball to Jordi Alba, the Barcelona midfielder clipped a beautiful through ball to Memphis, who had evaded Pablo Maffeo’s attentions. Memphis scored the only goal of the game in the first half as the wing-back sought to recover.
Pique’s role in the goal was his last one before being replaced by Eric Garcia.
Franco Russo dived in to clear before he connected with a Memphis pass that would have increased Barcelona’s lead in the league. Frenkie de Jong had gotten the ball rolling with a long run and a precise throw.
On 54 minutes, Busquets scored his second goal of the season to make it 2-0. It raced to the captain after Ferran Torres’ shot was blocked and Alba smashed his low shot past Rico after crossing from the left.
It wasn’t until then that Ferran had two opportunities to score from close range. The offside flag spared him as he missed Jordi Alba’s cross. However, he scored from Memphis’ cross and the flag was hoisted once again.
Ousmane Dembele replaced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 75 minutes, with Fati replacing Ferran.
WELCOME BACK! 👋 pic.twitter.com/plGhcDnmng— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 1, 2022
When Xavi made so many substitutes, it was clear that he felt the game was over; it wasn’t. A deflected free kick from Salva Sevilla found Antonio Rallo in space, and the center-back buried the opportunity beyond Marc Andre Ter Stegen after beating Ronald Araujo and Garcia to the ball.
Only three minutes were added to the game, which left Barcelona feeling grateful. They got the job done and now have a four-game winning streak under their belts. If they defeat Betis, who are now in the fifth position, next weekend, they will almost certainly be playing in the Champions League next season.