Despite dropping two points, Barcelona was able to salvage a 2-2 draw away at Real Mallorca on Tuesday because to the play of their youngster Fermin Lopez. This allowed Barcelona to extend their lead atop the La Liga standings.
Vedat Muriqi scored the initial goal for the home team early on, and then Raphinha tied the score for Barcelona. Barcelona ultimately settled for a draw after making two comebacks from down.
However, Abdon Prats put Mallorca back in the lead, and Lopez, who was just 20 years old at the time, tied the game with a powerful shot on his second appearance for the club.
On Wednesday, the teams in second and third place, Girona and Real Madrid, respectively, will compete against Villarreal and Las Palmas.
“These careless mistakes cannot happen again,” Xavi said to DAZN.
“There is room for advancement. The year before, we were quite reliable and put a lot of emphasis on our defensive play.
“Today we were not terrible; however, these are two errors that should not be occurring; as a result of these errors, we lost two points today.”
Xavi has opted to switch up his lineup in preparation for both the match against Sevilla in La Liga this coming Friday and the match against Porto in the Champions League on the following Tuesday.
The head coach decided to start Ferran Torres up forward in place of Robert Lewandowski for the first time, and he also gave defender Inigo Martinez his first start alongside Ronald Araujo, who had recovered from his injury.
Because of their injuries, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong were unable to play, which limited the coach’s ability to rotate players in the middle of the field.
Although Javier Aguirre’s Mallorca have had a rough start to the season, they were able to dig in and frustrate the hosts at Son Moix. Rafa Benitez’s Celta Vigo provided them with the blueprint for how to do this the previous weekend, despite Barcelona’s late comeback victory.
After eight minutes of play, the home team took the lead through target man Muriqi, who scored off Antonio Sanchez’s cut-back. This came about as a result of Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen giving the ball away in his own box with a terrible pass.
Joao Felix and Torres came perilously close to catching Raphinha’s dangerous crosses, but ultimately they were unsuccessful. The Brazilian winger then took matters into his own hands and equalized the score.
The former Leeds United forward scored a goal for Barcelona by drilling it in from outside the box to get the team back into the contest.
However, the Catalans rapidly fell further behind and were unable to recover from their missteps. Abdon Prats raced on to a flick-on after a goal kick and slid an effort past the advancing Ter Stegen with the help of a goal kick.
Making things far too simple
According to Barca player Oriol Romeu, who spoke to DAZN about the match, “the game was blocked up for us from the start, and we suffered more counter attacks than we wanted.”
“We’ve had two games in a row that we’re not happy with, and we have to improve because we’re making it too easy (for our opponents),” said the team’s head coach.
The second half got off to a faster start for Barcelona, as Xavi quickly made substitutions, bringing in experienced striker Lewandowski as well as younger players Lopez and Lamine Yamal.
The latter pair had an immediate impact, with Yamal falling to the ground in the penalty box after being fouled by Jose Copete. However, there was no call for a penalty.
However, shortly thereafter, 16-year-old youngster Yamal feed Raphinha, who cut the ball back for Lopez to smash home to level and win a point that could prove significant in the long run. Lopez’s goal brought the score to 1-1 and clinched a point.
“When you fight and you scrap, luck is on your side,” Muriqi said in an interview with DAZN. “We played against a great team, but when you fight and you scrap, luck is on your side.”
“I believe that the outcome was reasonable.”
Earlier in the day, Sevilla had one of their best performances under coach Jose Luis Mendilibar by thrashing Almeria 5-1. Almeria was at the bottom of the table.
The Andalusians had a rough start to the season, but thanks to this resounding victory, they have moved up to the middle of the table.