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November 11, 2012
• Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca
Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
• Attendance: 15500
M. Pereira 55'
Víctor Casadesús 58'
L. Messi 44', 70'
That's all from me for tonight guys, we have had quite an evening. Messi scored his 75th and 76th goals of 2012 to surpass Pele's 1958 tally, while Xavi scored a peach of a free kick in the first half. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Good bye!
FULL-TIME: MALLORCA 2-4 BARCELONA Tito Vilanova's side survived a spell of Mallorca pressure in the second half to seal their victory this evening, thanks to a double from Lionel Messi and further goals from Xavi and Cristian Tello. Michael Pereira and Victor made it interesting when they scored for Mallorca to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the second half, but a further goal from Messi ensured Barcelona made it 11 games unbeaten in the league this season. The Catalan giants extend their lead at the top to six points for the time being, with second-placed Atletico Madrid set to play Getafe later on today.
90' + 3'
And there is the final whistle! Barcelona are 4-2 winners here!
90' + 2'
Mallorca have a shout for a penalty turned down by the referee after a hard but fair tackle from Bartra on Victor just inside the Barcelona box.
Barcelona are dominating the closing minutes here, and look likely to seal their 10th league win of the season, and in doing so continue their unbeaten start to the Liga campaign.
CHANCE FOR MESSI! Aouate rushes from his goal to stop Alexis from shooting but the Chilean is able to cut the ball back to Messi, but his shot flies over the Mallorca goal as the Argentine's search for a hat-trick continues.
Barcelona's final substitution: Jordi Alba OFF, Martin Montoya ON.
Alexis does very well to control Messi's cross from the right but he cannot work the ball to one of his team-mates after bringing it under his spell and is shepherded away from goal by Geromel.
After a shaky start to the second half in which Mallorca scored twice through Pereira and Victor the away side have looked in control here, particularly in the last 15 minutes or so.
Play is being disrupted by a series of substitutions from both sides, with Vilanova now choosing to bring on Marc Bartra for Mascherano as Barcelona look to see out the win here.
Should Barcelona win here it will mean they have won all six of their away matches in the league so far this season!
Conceicao hacks the ball out of the Mallorca box under pressure from Alexis on the right after Messi's initial shot had been deflected away from goal. The home side are set to make their final change here, with Ximo going off to be replaced by Marc Fernandez.
Glorious play from Messi. The Barcelona attacker evades three tackles in the centre of the pitch with some delightful touches that leave Pina and Andreu Fontas scratching their heads. The on-loan Fontas has come on as a second-half substitute for Mallorca, and will no doubt be looking to impress the coach of his parent club, Vilanova.
Barcelona have their [insert large number]th free kick of the evening after a foul on Messi by Pina. Again they work the ball short but this time it nearly results in a shot for Alexis, only for Aouate to rush from his line and gather the ball off the toes of the Barca substitute.
Alexis and Messi nearly combine once more but the Chile international's final pass to his team-mate does not find its way through a body of Mallorca defenders and the home side are able to clear the ball away from danger.
STAT: Lionel Messi has scored his last 7 goals for Barcelona away from Camp Nou.
Andreu Fontàs Prat
ANOTHER FREE KICK FOR BARCELONA... This one is a fair distance from goal though, and Xavi chooses to play it short to Busquets rather than shooting as Vilanova's side start to take a hold of possession after a poor start to the second half.
Xavi looks to score a fifth for his side but his shot from 20 yards is blocked by the body of a diving Conceicao.
Assist Alexis Sánchez
Goal Lionel Messi
WHAT A STRIKE FROM MESSI!! The Argentine notches his 76th goal of 2012 in fine fashion. Alexis Sanchez does well to chest the ball into his path on the edge of the box, and after taking a touch to set himself the Argentine fires a brilliant rising shot into the back of the net. 4-2 to Barcelona!
Dani Alves somehow wins a corner for the visitors after Ximo makes a real mess of clearing the Brazilian's high ball to the back post. Barcelona are yet to play a corner into the box tonight, opting to play the ball short on every occasion so far. Quite strange considering Pique and Busquets are back in the starting XI and are both fairly handy in the air.
Barcelona make their first change of the night, Villa making way for Alexis Sanchez.
Pina is fairly annoyed to have given away a free kick in the centre circle after his boot catches Xavi, but really he should have no complaints as it was clearly high and made contact with the Barcelona man.
We've got a real game on our hands here! Can Mallorca complete a marvellous comeback and grab another goal or two here? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @charliefscott.
Busquets picked up a yellow card as he gave away that penalty a few minutes ago, which is his fifth in the league this season meaning he misses their match against Zaragoza next week.
Xavi catches Alfaro and Mallorca have another opportunity to test that shaky Barcelona backline. I'm sure Vilanova thought the return of Pique this evening would shore things up in defence, but it hasn't! They continue to allow their opposition chances to score.
This Barcelona defence just love conceding goals it seems. That's 15 they have let in so far this season, in just 11 games.
Hats off to Victor, it takes balls to hit a penalty low and straight down the middle!
Yellow Card Busquets
Penalty Goal Víctor
VICTOR SCORES!! IT'S 3-2 NOW! The Mallorca frontman fires a nonchalant spot kick straight down the middle as Valdes dives to his left, to make it 3-2, with just one goal separating the two sides now.
PENALTY TO MALLORCA!!! The home side have a chance to score again after Busquets handles inside the penalty area.
Messi manages to persuade Xavi to let him have this one, but his curling strike is off target and flies a yard or so over Aouate's crossbar.
Free kick to Barcelona, 25 yards from goal, just right of centre. Messi or Xavi?
Goal Michael Pereira
PEREIRA PULLS ONE BACK FOR MALLORCA!! The Frenchman hammers a shot past Valdes from 12 yards after latching on to Victor's lofted pass from the right-hand side. Game on?
STAT: Tello is a frustrating bugger but he has been producing the goods of late. The 21-year-old has scored in his last three starts for Barcelona, against Spartak Moscow, Deportivo and then tonight against Mallorca.
EXCELLENT PLAY FROM MALLORCA! A crucial tackle from Fabregas on Bigas stops the left-back from flicking Nsue's smart cross towards goal after the home side had worked the ball well down the left. They are certainly threatening more in this second half, Joaquin Caparros' side.
The home side have another opportunity to work the Barcelona defence, this time from a corner on the right, but a foul from Geromel on Pique as the ball is floated into the box results in a free kick to Vilanova's side.
The Mallorca substitute Alfaro has a chance to test Valdes from close range but he gets a volley with his right foot all wrong and the ball bounces wide of Valdes' goal.
Messi and Alves exchange passes neatly on the right before the Argentina swings the ball out to Tello on the left side of the Mallorca box. The youngster tries to hammer a cross towards Villa but his pass is wayward and flies over Aouate's goal and out for a goal kick.
Mallorca have been forced into making a change at the break, with Hemed being replaced by Alejandro Alfaro upfront.
Barcelona get the second half underway...
STAT: Lionel Messi has scored his 75th goal of 2012 this evening, equalling Pele's record from 1958. What a player!
HALF-TIME: MALLORCA 0-3 BARCELONA The home side will be in shock as to what happened at the end of the first half, as Barcelona scored in the 44th and 45th minute to increase their lead to three goals going in at the break. Xavi had given the visitors the lead with a wonderful curling free kick in the 28th minute, before a Dudu Aouate howler gifted Lionel Messi a goal and Cristian Tello fired home in the dying seconds of the half. Joaquin Caparros' team have a mammoth task on their hands to turn this one round, after a whirlwind end to that first half.
45' + 1'
And there is the referee's whistle to mark the end of the first half!
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
TELLO ADDS A THIRD BEFORE HALF-TIME!! The Masia graduate cuts in from the left on to his unfavoured right foot and fires a firm strike past Aouate and into the bottom corner from the edge of the Mallorca box. 3-0 to Barcelona!
Goal Lionel Messi
WHAT A MISTAKE FROM AOUATE!! MESSI MAKES IT 2-0!! The Argentine will get fewer easier goals than that this season. Aouate should gather the Barcelona man's low shot comfortably, but instead allows the ball to squeeze underneath him and nestle in the back of the net.
Alves then shows Bigas how to tackle by dispossessing the Mallorca left-back brilliantly as he looks to make his way into the Barca box.
Mallorca are beginning to lose their composure at the end of the half here, with Bigas the latest in a succession of players to commit a foul on a Barcelona player. He comes in late as he tries to win the ball off Alves and clearly catches the Brazilian full-back.
The Argentine is helped from the pitch by Barcelona's medical staff, having picked up the knock during an aerial duel with Hemed. He should be okay to continue here though.
Mascherano is down holding his right leg for Barcelona, and play is stopped momentarily as he receives treatment.
Anderson Conceicao gets his head to Pina's cross from the set piece but his effort is wide of Valdes' goal.
Mallorca launch a rare foray into the Barcelona half but Hemed is stopped in his tracks by some robust defending from Javier Mascherano. Nsue then does well to win a corner for the home side after dribbling at Alba on the right.
BRILLIANT PLAY FROM BARCA!! Xavi slips the ball to Tello on the left and he drives into the box and cuts the ball back towards Villa. Only a fine last-ditch tackle from Geromel inside his own six-yard box stops the striker from making it 2-0 to the visitors!
Vilanova's side are looking to extend their superb start to La Liga tonight, with the Catalan giants' record of nine wins and a draw in this campaign their best ever opening to a Liga season.
Alves wins a corner for Barcelona on the right after drifting into the penalty area and drawing a tackle from Bigas. Xavi plays the corner to Messi on the edge of the box but his shot flies wide of the Mallorca goal.
So, Marti's rash challenge on Fabregas resulted in Barcelona taking the lead through Xavi. The Mallorca captain was also booked for his troubles, I imagine he's regretting that tackle right now...
XAVI SCORES THE FREE KICK!! The experienced midfielder curls a sumptuous effort into the top left corner from the set piece, with Aouate in the Mallorca goal having to stand and watch as the ball sails past him into the back of the net. Fantastic strike! 1-0 to Barcelona.
Yellow Card Marti
Here we go... Marti clatters into Fabregas and Barca have a free kick just outside the Mallorca penalty area.
Tello appears to have the beating of Mallorca's right-back Ximo, having raced past him on a couple of occasions already in this match, but his end product is lacking at the moment.
Messi has given the ball away three times tonight! Honest. The Mallorca defence are pressing him up the pitch whenever he gets the ball and in the opening 24 minutes it is certainly working!
AND THEY NEARLY DO MAKE THE MOST OF THE SET PIECE!! Valdes is forced into making a smart stop from Hemed after the Barcelona defence failed to clear Pina's initial cross from the free kick.
A foul from Busquets on Pina on the right results in a free kick for the home side. They will have to make the most of these opportunities if they wish to challenge Barcelona this evening.
VITAL INTERCEPTION FROM BIGAS!! The Mallorca left-back does superbly to nick the ball away from Villa as the Spain international looks to take Xavi's lofted through ball in his stride. That was a very important touch from the full-back, Villa would have been in on goal!
Mallorca carve out their first chance of the match after a strong run from their right-back Ximo. The 22-year-old drives past a tackle from Jodri Alba and swings a pass towards Hemed, but the Israeli striker cannot get his shot on target and it balloons over Victor Valdes' crossbar.
Messi uncharacteristically misplaces a pass to Xavi inside the Mallorca half, but the away side immediately win the ball back through Busquets and play Cristian Tello in on the left-hand side. The youngster jinxes past one challenge before firing a low cross into the Mallorca box, but Pedro Geromel is on hand to hack the ball away for the home side.
By the way, how strong is that Barcelona bench tonight?? Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Iniesta, Sanchez, Pedro... What a seven-a-side team that would be.
They choose to play the ball back to Pique in defence rather than playing it forward though, as they continue their measured start to this match.
Barcelona have another free kick, this one just inside the Mallorca half, after Messi is brought down by a rash challenge from Tomas Pina.
The ball eventually falls at the feet of their right-back Dani Alves, who wastes no time in unleashing a shot at goal from 20 yards that Aouate has to jump to his right to parry away to safety.
Barcelona are starting to keep a hold of the ball for the first time in the game, and are working it around well on the edge of the Mallorca box.
STAT: Victor Valdes and Cesc Fabregas are the only two players in the Barcelona squad to have started all 11 of their league matches this season.
Messi sweeps the set piece into the Mallorca box but Dudu Aouate does well to punch the ball away under pressure from Pique and David Villa.
The away side have struggled to pass the ball in the opening exchanges, but now have a free kick in a dangerous position 30 yards from goal after a foul on Fabregas.
The Mallorca captain Jose Marti has already stamped his influence on the game, quite literally in fact, after he came in late with his studs raised on Sergio Busquets inside the centre circle.
Barcelona win the first corner of the evening, and choose to work the ball short but Mallorca defend the set piece well and retrieve possession after a sloppy pass from Cesc Fabregas on the halfway line.
Brilliant tackle from Pique! The defender, making his first start in eight weeks, thwarts Hemed for the second time in as many minutes, with a strong sliding tackle on the edge of the Barcelona box.
Mallorca get the ball rolling and immediately launch the ball forward to Tomer Hemed before Gerard Pique heads the ball out for a throw-in on the left.
The teams are out on the pitch here and we are just moments away from kick off...
So, Tito Vilanova hasn't been afraid to make changes following Barcelona's midweek Champions League defeat to Celtic, with five changes being made to that starting XI. The big news, however, is the return of Gerard Pique, with the centre-back making his first start in nearly two months following a long period on the sidelines because of an ankle injury. Elsewhere in the team David Villa and Cristian Tello partner Lionel Messi upfront, while Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas also return to the starting XI.
Subs: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Iniesta, Alexis, Pedro
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Tello, Villa, Messi
Subs: Sanchez, Kevin, Fontas, Alfaro, Arizmendi, Fernandez, Brandon
Mallorca (4-4-2): Aouate; Ximo, Geromel, Conceicao, Bigas; Nsue, Pina, Marti, Pereira; Victor, Hemed
How about some team news then?
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be bringing you potentially insightful and colourful updates from the game as it unfolds. As always, feel free to get in touch with your thoughts on the match tonight by sending your views to @charliefscott or @goal_intl. We would love to hear from you!
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of tonight's Liga match between Mallorca and Barcelona at the Iberostar Estadi.
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