La Liga: Teenager Yamal gifts Barca narrow win over Mallorca

March 9, 2024
Teenager Lamine Yamal scored the only goal of the game to give FC Barcelona a narrow 1-0 win at home to Mallorca to keep their slim hopes of this season's title alive.

Madrid, March 9 (IANS) Teenager Lamine Yamal scored the only goal of the game to give FC Barcelona a narrow 1-0 win at home to Mallorca to keep their slim hopes of this season’s title alive.

Yamal, born in July 2007, produced a moment of magic to move Barca to within five points of Real Madrid, who entertain Celta Vigo on Sunday, reported Xinhua

Barca coach Xavi Hernandez produced a surprise in his starting line-up, with Robert Lewandowski rested and young striker Marc Guiu given a chance, ahead of January signing Vitor Roque.

With Pedri and Frenkie de Jong both injured, Joao Felix was picked to play in midfield, while 17-year-old Marc Cubarsi was also selected in defense, with Andreas Christensen again playing in midfield.

A close opening 20 minutes were interrupted when Barcelona were awarded a penalty after Copete clipped Raphinha’s heel in the penalty area.

Without Lewandowski on the pitch, Ilkay Gundogan took responsibility from the spot, but his kick was too central and comfortably saved by Mallorca keeper Predrag Rajkovic.

Rajkovic produced another save to frustrate Felix, before Raphinha had to leave the game with an ankle injury, and he also saved a header from Fermin Lopez, who replaced the Brazilian.

There were timid boos as the Barca players left the pitch at halftime, but the home side still struggled to break down the Mallorca defense at the start of the second half, with Vedat Muriqi hitting the post.

Yamal cut inside and hit the crossbar in the 57th minute, with Rajkovic getting his fingertips to the shot, before Xavi made a double change with Lewandowski and Vitor Roque on for Guiu and the ineffective Felix.

Yamal broke the deadlock with 18 minutes left when he cut in from the right of the area and curled a shot into the far corner of the net beyond Rajkovic’s reach.

–IANS

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