Barcelona once again had to come from behind as they scraped a 2-2 draw away to Mallorca on Tuesday.
Three days after their dramatic victory over Celta Vigo, Barcelona twice came from behind against Mallorca but could not find the all-important third goal this time around.
Vedat Muriqi scored early on and, after Raphinha had pulled one back for the visitors, grabbed an assist right before the half-time break to give Mallorca a deserved lead.
Barcelona had to push hard for an equaliser and would be forced to wait until the 75th minute, when Fermin Lopez pounced on Raphinha’s cross to crash home his side’s second goal of the evening and snatch a share of the spoils.
How the game unfolded
Mallorca made the better start of the two sides and took the lead after just eight minutes. A sloppy pass out from Marc-Andre ter Stegen led to a bit of penalty box pinball which was eventually finished off by Muriqi.
Clearly happy to sit back and defend their lead, Mallorca dropped deep and began disrupting proceedings with a serious of cynical fouls.
Joao Felix and Ferran Torres both failed to convert crosses from the lively Raphinha as Barcelona sought a response, forcing the Brazilian to show his teammates how to find the back of the net. Five minutes before the break, he cut inside on his left and arrowed home an equaliser.
Barcelona would be level for just a few minutes, however, as Muriqi turned provider as he flicked on a ball for Abdon Prats, who flashed his composure to bury beyond Ter Stegen.
Felix crashed against the post early in the second half before Lamine Yamal, introduced just seconds earlier, was awarded a penalty after he went down in the box, but VAR revealed the young winger had gone down unfairly and overruled the decision.
Yamal opted to stay on his feet and instead combined with Raphinha, whose low cross found Fermin alone in the penalty area to crash home his first senior goal for the club.
The search for a winner saw Mallorca’s Cyle Larin breeze past Jules Kounde with ten minutes to go, but the angle on his shot was too tight as he failed to test Ter Stegen this time.
Barcelona pushed and pushed, with Yamal proving to be particularly threatening, but Xavi’s side simply could not find a way through a Mallorca’s side whose spirit and determination deserved at least a point from this game.
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 3/10 – At fault for the first goal and not good enough for the second. A really off night for the German.
RB: Joao Cancelo – 4/10 – Nowhere near good enough and didn’t find the late goals to make up for it this week.
CB: Ronald Araujo – 5/10 – Poor on the ball and clearly not yet at full fitness. Couldn’t keep up with Mallorca’s forwards on the counter.
CB: Inigo Martinez – 4/10 – His connection with Araujo was non-existent. Really uncomfortable at all times.
LB: Alejandro Balde – 6/10 – Some great moments at both ends of the field but couldn’t maintain those levels for the entire game.
DM: Oriol Romeu – 4/10 – Offered no cover for Barcelona’s back line and his build-up play was sloppy.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 3/10 – Not involved once again. Two seriously concerning performances over the past week.
CM: Gavi – 7/10 – Carried the midfield as he had to do the work of three players. Put himself about as much as possible but was obviously fighting a losing battle.
RW: Raphinha – 8/10 – Easily Barcelona’s best player. Electric in the first half and deserved his goal, but was a little quieter after the break before his assist for Fermin.
ST: Ferran Torres – 3/10 – Sloppy and wasteful during his hour on the pitch. Definitely won’t be taking this starting spot any time soon.
LW: Joao Felix – 6/10 – Not as impactful as in recent weeks but it was still a real surprise to see Xavi replace him on the hour mark.
SUB: Robert Lewandowski (58′ for Torres) – 5/10
SUB: Lamine Yamal (64′ for Felix) – 7/10
SUB: Fermin Lopez (64′ for Romeu) – 7/10
SUB: Jules Kounde (78′ for Martinez) – 4/10
Subs not used: Inaki Pena (GK), Ander Astralaga (GK), Sergi Roberto, Marcos Alonso, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen
Xavi – 5/10 – While he definitely got his substitutions right, Xavi shouldn’t have allowed Barcelona to be here in the first place. His team selection was wrong and there was no tactical switch to try and fix things, simply the introduction of new players.