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Spain - Primera Division
Celta de Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
March 24, 2012
• Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
• Attendance: 22284
L. Messi 25'
Full time in Mallorca. Barcelona run out comfortable 2-0 winners over Joaquin Caparros' side despite losing Thiago in the second half due to two yellow cards. The gap at the top now stands at three points, with Real Madrid taking on Real Sociedad this evening. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com and stay tuned for coverage of the other matches!
Mallorca looking to mount a very late comeback here but it may be in vain as Barcelona appear to be holding on.
Yellow Card Carles Puyol
The free kick is poor and Barcelona look to mount a counterattack. The play eventually is calmed down and the visitors are now looking to run down the clock.
Free kick to Mallorca in a good position down the right after Nsue ran down the wing and saw his cross blocked by the hand of Puyol just outside the box.
Tello finds himself with only Caceres to beat to get to the Mallorca goal and gallops down the right wing before trying to sneak in a shot at the near post but Aouate gets down and makes the save.
Fantastic block from Martin Montoya!! Tomer Hemed finds space in the Barcelona box and drives a shot at goal but the young substitute comes in with a diving challenge to save Barca!
Final change of the match for Barcelona as Cristian Tello comes on to replace Alexis Sanchez. The young winger has plenty of pace and he will use this to stretch the game for his side in the latter stages.
GOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Carles Puyol picks out Messi on the edge of the box, who's shot smashes off the inside of the post! But Gerard Pique is there to slide the rebound home! 2-0 and Barca are home and dry!
@fiidow08 writes on Twitter: "Go on Barca and pile huge pressure on 'Special One' the gap will be cup into 3 points" It looks as if they will hold on. Massive pressure now on Madrid.
Mallorca make their final change of the match Fernando Tissone is withdrawn for Alejandro Alfaro. Another attacking player is introduced into the fray by Caparros.
Messi drives forward at pace through the middle and looks to pick out Alexis Sanchez with a lovely scooped pass over the top of the Mallorca defence but the Chilean was just offside.
Barcelona frustrating the hosts at the moment by keeping the ball expertly throughout the park. Mallorca can't equalise unless they have the ball!
Nsue has pace to burn and he utilizes this with a powerful run down the right-hand side that resorted to Sergio Busquets diving in with an excellently timed challenge. Mallorca probing for an equaliser here.
Barcelona look to tighten things up in midfield as Seydou Keita comes on to replace Pedro.
The game is on a knife edge at the moment. With the scoreline remaining at 1-0 Mallorca will always feel they have a chance to snatch a goal, they need to improve on their final ball, though.
Mallorca enjoying a period of sustained possession in the Barcelona half at the moment. They just need to generate some kind of chance of goal as Victor Valdes has been very comfortable this evening.
Pep Guardiola does eventually make a tactical change as Martin Montoya comes on to replace Cesc Fabregas. The young substitute will slot in at right-back as Barca revert to four at the back.
Pedro shows excellent determination down the left to rob Nunes of possession and then set up Messi with a pass into the area but the Argentine's stabbed shot goes wide of the left-hand post!
The whole dynamic of this match has changed now. Barcelona are now a man down in midfield and are still only playing three men at the back. Mallorca sense the visitors are reeling here.
Yellow/Red Thiago Alcántara
Thiago is sent off for Barcelona!! Ohhhh that looked very harsh! The Barca man sees his second yellow card of the match after the referee appeared to spot a deliberate handball!
Double substitution from Mallorca early in the second half as Tomer Hemed and Emilio Nsue come on to replace Alvaro and Chico. Positive changes from Joaquin Caparros.
Barcelona sense the ascendancy of Mallorca and begin to stifle their play with patient possession retention in their own half. The hosts are having to work very hard to win back the ball.
Better play from Mallorca. They ball is sprayed about the Barca half nicely by the home side and the ball eventually finds its way to Chori Castro on the left wing who whips a cross to the back post but there are no takers for the hosts. Encouraging play.
Pereira latches on to a slack pass in the middle of the park from Barca to drive forward and slide a pass into the feet of Marti but he just took his eye off the ball at the vital moment and Barcelona clean up the danger!
The second half in underway in Mallorca. If Barcelona can manage to score again it will be the 600th goal under the tenure of Pep Guardiola at Camp Nou. You wouldn't exactly put it past them would you?
Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
Half time in Palma. Barcelona go into the break with a relatively comfortable 1-0 lead over Mallorca thanks to a goal from Alexis Sanchez. Do we think it was Messi's goal or Sanchez's goal?
Mallorca will a nice period of possession in the Barcelona final third at the moment. Alvaro is at the heart of the play with decent hold up play in and around the penalty area. No breakthrough yet, though.
Barcelona continue to dominate possession in central areas. Their four man midfield has been excellent and distributing the ball so far. From the way the game is going it looks a matter of time before they double their lead.
Yellow Card Iván Ramis
A fairly quiet period in the match at the moment as the first half winds down. Mallorca have provided next to no attacking quality in the match so far besides Alvaro's header. They will need to buck up their ideas.
Yellow Card Thiago Alcántara
Thiago picks up the first Barcelona booking of the match for a clumsy challenge on Alvaro from behind. A silly yellow card for the Spaniard really.
@Amir_KH97 writes on Twitter:" Barcelona are gonna win 4-0 vs Mallorca, Messi all of those 4 goals! Viscsa Barca! La Liga is ours!" So do we all think that Barcelona catching Real Madrid in La Liga is now a real possibility? Even after Pep Guardiola said it could not be done?
HUUUYYYYYYY!!!! Pedro sends a pass through to Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean hits the underside of the bar with a deflected shot from the right-hand side! Barca so close to doubling their lead!
@ZinedineHassan writes on Twitter: "Barcelona will win this one, by a great margin. Would bet you a million bucks that Messi is going to score!" No bet Zinedine! Sorry
Yellow Card Michael Pereira
Andres Iniesta picks up the ball on the edge of the box and smashes a shot towards the near post but it is well blocked and the ball goes out for a corner kick. Barca with a succession of set-pieces at the moment.
Barca not in any rush here. Carles Puyol has seen quite a lot of the ball so far in the match but it has been in deep positions down the left wing. Not exactly where the captain of the Catalan side is most effective.
Mallorca find themselves deep in Barca territory again but unfortunately the final pass is not good enough down the right-hand side and the visitors are awarded possession again. The home side need to improve on their distribution.
Victor drives down the right wing and whips a cross to the near post where Alvaro headers at goal but his glancing attempt goes just wide of the left-hand post. Good move from Mallorca.
@Awesomejeffris writes on Twitter: "Barca going to win. Messi is going to get a hat trick. 5-0 against Mallorca" Quite a bold prediction there, although with the Argentine magician in the side, it is not out of the question.
Small break in play at the moment as Chico is down with an injury after falling awkwardly under the challenge of Andres Iniesta. He looks to be fine though as he leaves the field for some minor treatment. Barcelona re-start the game and we are off again.
Mostly Barca dominance in the early stages in Palma. However the home side have restricted the visitors to just one great chance which fell to the hands of Lionel Messi.
Superb save from Aouate!! Messi drives into the penalty area and unleashes a left-footed strike at goal but the Mallorca goalkeeper remained big to make the save from point-blank distance!
Pedro looks to latch on to a defence-splitting pass through the middle and but Aouate shows a clean pair of heels to dash from his line and just claim the ball at the feet of the Barca man.
Messi drops off into a deep position into the Mallorca half and attempts to pick out Iniesta with a clipped pass over the top of the defence but the home side manage to scramble the ball clear.
Barca typically begin to stamp their authority on the possession on the match. The game is mostly being played in the Mallorca defensive area at the moment as Guardiola's side look for an opening but nothing yet.
Frantic start to the match as both side's look to gain an early advantage. Mallorca are pressing Barca with intensity but you wonder how long they can keep up the pace.
And we are off! Barca should be revitalised in their pursuit of the Spanish Primera Division title after Madrid's recent results so we are in for an interesting match this afternoon!
The players have emerged from the tunnel and we are only a couple of minutes away from kick off folks. How will Barcelona respond to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid dropping yet more points against Villarreal on Wednesday? The chase is on for the La Liga title.
So Barca take to the field this evening adopting a 3-4-3 formation with Pique, Puyol and Mascherano as the central defensive trio. What do we all make of this?
This is the first XI of Barcelona: Valdes; Pique, Puyol, Mascherano; Iniesta, Thiago, Busquets, Fabregas; Pedro, Alexis Sanchez, Messi
The teams are in and this is how Mallorca will be lining up tonight: Aouate; Chico, Nunes, Ramis, Caceres; Marti, Tissone, Castro, Pereira; Victor, Alvaro
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I will be reporting on the game this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division encounter between Mallorca and Barcelona at the Iberostar Estadi.
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