Superb Yamal strike hands Barcelona 1-0 win over Mallorca



Sat, 09 Mar 2024 - 12:54 GMT


Sat, 09 Mar 2024 - 12:54 GMT

FC Barcelona's Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Albert Gea

FC Barcelona's Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - Barcelona teenager Lamine Yamal struck a fine late goal to secure a hard-fought 1-0 home win against plucky Mallorca on Friday to move within five points of leaders Real Madrid.


The victory put the hosts provisionally in second place on 61 points, two clear of Girona, as they closed in on Real, who host struggling Celta Vigo on Sunday.


"Effectiveness is what made this a tough game for us. They did a very good job. It was hard for us," Barca boss Xavi Hernandez said.


"We competed well, we created clear chances to win more than 1-0. But we've won, the three points are welcome".


The 16-year-old Yamal gave Barca the lead in the 73rd minute with a brilliant curling shot into the top left-hand corner from the edge of the area for his fourth league goal this season.


"I'm very happy for the win and the clean sheet. I tried to hold the full back and as they left me some space I looked for the shot," Yamal told DAZN.


"It was a game of hard work. They made it difficult for us. Anything that helps the team is great for me. Scoring a goal with our fans in front of us is always a dream."


Ilkay Gundogan could have put Barcelona ahead in the 24th minute with a penalty following a VAR check for a challenge on Raphinha. However, Mallorca goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic dived to his left to deny the German international.


Copa del Rey finalists Mallorca were dangerous on the break and created several chances but could not find the finish. They stay in 15th on 27 points, eight clear of the relegation zone.


Xavi, who lost midfielders Frenkie De Jong and Pedri to injury in the last game, was forced to take off Raphinha in the 37th after a foul on the Brazilian forward.


However, the manager said the right winger does not have a serious injury and will be available when they host Napoli in their Champions League last 16-second leg on Tuesday, with the game level at 1-1.


"Everyone who was in the squad today will be there against Napoli," he said. "I'm always optimistic despite the situation we're in. This victory gives us confidence. It doesn't seem like it's important but it is. We need the fans for Tuesday's game."



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