Leo Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona FC marched on and all over Mallorca to seal the top spot temporarily ahead of Real Madrid’s match against Real Sociedad and La Liga leaders Levante’s game against Osasuna today.
It was a one sided match from a well formed Barca side that saw goals from Dani Alves and young Isaac Cuenca.
Barcelona started without star midfielders Fabregás, Xavi, Iniesta or Pedro, giving Mallorca a ray of hope.
But alas, all that was proven in the end was Barca’s strength in depth and that they have a handful of very good youth team players waiting in the wings for a shot at first team football.
Funnily enough it was Mallorca who had the first clear chance when midfielder Joao Victor missed from near point blank range with just six minutes on the clock. But within 30 minutes Leo Messi had scored his hat-trick to kill off the Mallorcan challenge and after that the Islanders were never really in the game.
The little Argentine only had to wait 12 minutes for the chance to silence his critics from the penalty spot, in front of the same crowd at the Nou Camp that saw him miss a crucial penalty with the last kick of the game against Sevilla just a week ago.
It was Messi himself who played a long ball to Adriano in the Mallorca penalty area, when the Brazilian headed the ball back it struck Emilio Nsue on the arm, leaving Messi to score from the spot. The second goal came at minute 21 when 21 year old Isaac Cuenca crossed from the right and Adriano played in Messi for a simple tap in.
Dani Alves, just eight minutes later, crossed from the right to find the Argentine making a devious little run behind the Mallorca defence and again one touch with his left foot was all that young Messi needed.
Adriano found himself involved in the action on 50 minutes. His pass found Cuenca, who rounded the advancing Dudu Aouate, the Mallorca keepr, before slotting the ball home from a tight angle to make it his first goal for the Catalans.
Of course, with such a “goal cushion” to fall back on, it gave Barca the chance to take their foot of the peddle ahead of their Champions League match to face Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday in the Czech Republic.
Pep Guardiola then introduced Gerard Deulofeu, a 17-year-old winger, for his official first team debut with 30 minutes left on the clock and Barcelona’s chances continued to come.