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Teenager Yamal fires Barca past Real Mallorca
Published on: Sunday, March 10, 2024
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Teenager Yamal fires Barca past Real Mallorca
Yamal (left) being congratulated by Lopez after scoring.
MADRID: A sublime Lamine Yamal goal lifted Barcelona to a 1-0 win over a battling Real Mallorca as the La Liga champions climbed into second place in Spain on Friday.

Ravaged by injuries Xavi’s reshuffled Barca side had struggled to deal with a physical Mallorca side before Yamal’s moment of magic delivered all three points to the resurgent home side.

Barcelona now have 61 points with ten games left, five adrift of leaders Real Madrid who play Celta Vigo Sunday with Girona on 59 before Saturday’s home game with Osasuna.

It was also a timely win ahead of the Champions League last 16 clash with Napoli on Tuesday with the tie level at 1-1 from the first leg.

The 16-year-old Yamal took the ball on the edge of the area on 73 minutes, ran one way and turned 180 degrees before unleashing an unstoppable strike.

On a pristine pitch at their temporary Montjuic stadium Barcelona had been largely toothless with four changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Athletic Bilbao last week.

Ilkay Gundogan missed a penalty on 24 minutes after a foul on Raphinha when Predrag Rajkovic saved well while Joao Felix almost broke the deadlock but fired wide.

Barca ‘keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen also stood up well to a Manu Morlanes header on 38 minutes.

Sat in the stands due to suspension Xavi was forced to make four changes from his side’s 0-0 draw with Bilbao with Frenkie De Jong and Pedri injured, Robert Lewandowski starting on the bench and Ronald Araujo suspended. Yamal was one of the men brought in.

Many had written off Barca’s hopes of retaining their Liga title with Xavi announcing he would leave his post at the end of the season after a run of bad results in January.

Real Madrid face former coach Rafa Benitez and his struggling Celta Vigo side on Sunday as they bid to get back on track after last weekend’s draw at Valencia.

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