The champions eased to the three points against the Islanders...
Lionel Messi, David Villa and Pedro eased Barcelona to a comfortable win over Mallorca at the Iberostar stadium this evening, to solidify their position at the top of La Liga.
Messi's first-half header set the Catalan giants on the road to victory, and finishes from Villa and Pedro in the second half ensured that Pep Guardiola's side take the three points, and temporarily extend their lead over Real Madrid.
The Islanders secured a creditable draw at the Camp Nou earlier in the campaign, and managed to contain the Blaugrana during a frustrating opening spell.
Lionel Messi combined with David Villa to create the best chance of the first half hour, but blasted his shot over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
A breakthrough became more inevitable as the match progressed, however, and a quality goal from the little Argentine broke the deadlock. A glorious lob through the centre found Messi, unmarked, who controlled on his chest before heading neatly over Dudu Aouate and into the net.
The flow of play continued in the same direction in the second half, and Mallorca simply couldn’t gain control of the ball. The Camp Nou club ruthlessly struck twice more within the space of ten minutes to clinch the points.
A Sergio Busquets through pass split the static home back line, putting Villa into the clear, and the Spaniard kept his cool to round Aouate and stroke the ball into the net.
On 65 minutes, it was three. Pedro cut in from the left flank and unleashed a vicious strike that nicked off the toe of Emilio Nsue and looped over the despairing dive of Aouate.
At that point, Guardiola withdrew the winger, along with Villa, allowing both players a rest ahead of the midweek trip to face Valencia, and introduced Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay into the action.
The match was effectively over, however, and the visitors kept the ball for the remainder of the match, continuing to frustrate Michael Laudrup’s side, who after going behind were always second best.
The win means that the champions extend their advantage at the summit to eight points ahead of Real Madrid’s match at the Riazor against Deportivo later this evening, while Mallorca remain in mid-table in the Primera Division.
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