Barcelona veteran Lionel Messi has become the only player to score 20 goals or more in 12 consecutive seasons of La Liga after scoring the fourth goal in his team’s 4-0 win over Mallorca on Saturday. It was the Catalan giants’ first match after the COVID-19 hiatus of almost three months.
The table-toppers Barcelona outplayed the relegation-threatened Mallorca in all departments at an empty Iberostar Stadium. The visitors got the breakthrough as early as in the second minute after Chilean midfielder scored with a diving header off a delivery from Jordi Alba.
The second one saw Messi performing his usual brilliance outside the opponent box before finding Martin Braithwaite – roped in as a replacement in January to cover Luis Suarez – who completed a calm finish to disturb Mallorca’s net for the second time in just 37 minute.
Mallorca, meanwhile, attempted to shift the game in their favour but failed to match with the competence of their rivals. The second half streamed the same Barca dominance with the home team lurking behind.
Overall, Mallorca’s 19-year-old Japanese Takefusa Kubo had tested Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the first half. Other than him Ante Budimir, Lago Junior and Abdon Prats had also displayed some unaffected long-rangers.
Meanwhile, Messi was back at spewing his magic again in the 79th minute when he found Jordi Alba who took them 3-0 up. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner deservingly got his name on the scoresheet in the dying minutes of the game to announce his grand return to top-flight football after the COVID-19 break.
“We controlled the game and it was a great performance after not competing for three months. We now have 10 must-win games to go and we are really looking forward to them,” Jordi Alba said after the match.
The win has taken Barcelona five points clear at the top of the points table. Real Madrid are at second with 56 points, however, they have played a game less.