Luuk de Jong scored the only goal of the game while Gerard Pique impressed as Barcelona secured a narrow 1-0 win over RCD Mallorca in La Liga.

Barcelona were without a host of regulars when they travelled to the Iberostar Stadium to face RCD Mallorca. However, they did not let that affect their game as the Catalans dominated possession from the off, not allowing their hosts to get on the ball and create any danger going forward.

Barcelona’s first big moment arrived at the cusp of the half-hour mark when Luuk de Jong’s effort at full stretch managed to beat the goalkeeper but not the post. A minute later, the Dutchman was at it again, producing a stunning overhead kick only to see it bounce off the woodwork as the scoreline remained intact.

De Jong got his goal at long last when he headed home Oscar Mingueza’s cross in the 44th minute to put the Blaugrana in front. The second half followed a similar pattern with Barça pretty much in control, although there were not many goalscoring chances. Mallorca, too, hardly caused problems apart from a Jaume Costa effort in stoppage time which brought out a top save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The 0-1 victory means Barcelona have now climbed up to fifth place in the La Liga table, just a point shy of Atletico Madrid in fourth. Here are our player ratings for Xavi Hernandez’s men following a crucial win on Sunday.

Barcelona Player Ratings

Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 7/10

The German international was not tested much for most of the game, and he distributed well from the back on the night. When called into action late on, he produced a crucial stop to keep his team’s lead intact and help them bag three points.

Oscar Mingueza: 7/10

Starting at right-back, the Barcelona academy product produced a solid display on the night. Mingueza kept things tight defensively and was an outlet going forward, delivering some enticing crosses, one of which ended up being the assist for the match-winning goal.

Gerard Pique: 8/10

The veteran defender led the team by example, being forceful in the air and strong on the ground. Saw a lot of the ball and used it well to ensure that his team stayed in control. At the back, very little got past him as Mallorca did not have a sniff at the Barcelona goal until the late chance for Costa. Won seven aerial duels, made two interceptions, five clearances and one tackle.

Eric Garcia: 6/10

Starting alongside Pique, the former Manchester City defender wasn’t overly troubled on Sunday night. However, there were occasions when his positioning was suspect while his distribution, at times, frustrated his manager. Nevertheless, he kept things tight and organised for the most part.

Ronald Araujo: 6.5/10

Moved to the left-back slot in the absence of Jordi Alba, the Uruguayan international did not look out of place in an unfamiliar position. Araujo did what was asked of him without really standing out.

Nico Gonzalez: 7/10

The young midfielder was once again key for Barcelona as he provided the forward thrust from the centre while ensuring that the team did not lose any initiative with precise passes forward. Saw a shot go over in the second half. He was taken off with a suspected injury.

Frenkie de Jong: 7.5/10

Lining up as the deepest of the three midfielders in the absence of Sergio Busquets, the Dutchman dictated proceedings for Barcelona on Sunday and did so with comfort. Frenkie de Jong sprayed passes forward with great accuracy in a bid to unlock the hosts’ defence and did his bit off the ball when needed. He finished with a 93% pass accuracy, one key pass, two tackles and interceptions each.

Riqui Puig: 7/10

Making his first start of the season, the La Masia graduate enjoyed a positive outing. Puig was eager to get on the ball and try to make things happen as he played two key passes and misplaced just three of his 69 attempted passes, helping Barcelona control possession comfortably. Will hope to build on this display and grow into a key player.

Ilias Akhomach: 7/10

Starting on the right flank, the 17-year-old was a lively presence in attack as he caused problems to Mallorca with his pace and dribbling. Ilias played in three key passes as he constantly tried to engineer openings for his teammates and had a couple of shots on target.

Luuk de Jong: 8/10

A rare start for the 31-year-old thanks to the injury and Covid crisis at the club, and Luuk de Jong made the most of his chance on Sunday. He was unlucky to strike the post and the crossbar in quick succession in the first period. But did well to meet Mingueza’s cross and nod it into the net to score the only goal of the game.

Ferran Jutgla: 6/10

Slotting on the left side of the frontline, the 22-year-old had a couple of promising moments in the first half when he played a cross in for Luuk de Jong and had a shot drift wide. However, he was unable to make a sustained impact on the proceedings. Booked.

SUBSTITUTES

Alvaro Sanz: 6/10

The 20-year-old defensive midfielder made his first-team debut for Barcelona when he replaced Nico in the 70th minute. Fairly steady and helped his team protect their narrow lead.

Clement Lenglet: N/A

The Frenchman came on for Mingueza with less than 15 minutes left. Booked.

Estanis Pedrola: N/A

The 18-year-old Barcelona B winger got his senior debut when he replaced Ilias in the 80th minute. He hardly touched the ball.

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