|First Division - Day 17|
Barcelona 3 - Mallorca 1
Víctor Valdés; Víctor Sánchez (Daniel Alves
55'), Puyol, Márquez (Sylvinho 70'), Abidal; Xavi, Touré Yaya,
Gudjohnsen; Hleb (Iniesta 66'), Eto'o, Henry. 4-3-3.
Team changes: Barcelona: Víctor Sánchez, Márquez, Touré Yayá, Gudjohnsen, Hleb for Daniel Alves, Piqué, Keita, Sergio Busquets, Messi / Mallorca: No change.
Yellow cards: Josemi 35', 88', Mario Suárez 42', Márquez 48', Aduríz 56', Xavi 64', Lux 68', Dani Alves 72', Varela 72' / red cards: Josemi 88'.
Barcelona started the new year as they ended the last, with a 3-1 win over Mallorca. Guardiola rested several key players for Tuesday night's cup tie against Atlético, and Aduríz took advantage of a misunderstanding between Víctor Sánchez and Touré Yaya to pick up the ball in midfield and run on to open the scoring early on.
Manzano hardly celebrated though, probably thinking that his side had got their consolation goal early, and that was how it turned out. Soon afterwards Gudjohnsen hit the bar and Touré Yaya brought a good save out of Lux, and a few minutes later Henry equalised with an angled shot off the far post after Puyol had headed on Xavi's corner.
The visitors were hardly in it after that, but with the clock running on Guardiola turned to Iniesta, who was given an ovation by the fans on his return after a two month injury lay-off. And it only took him ten minutes to get his name on the scoresheet, finishing off on the far post after Gudjohnsen (probably in an offside position) picked up Xavi's deflected shot and whipped the ball across goal.
Henry could have increased the lead with a clever flick from Xavi's cross which went just wide of the post, and a good run from Iniesta provoked Josemi in to a second yellow card. Even so the result was still in doubt until the second minute of injury time, when Touré Yaya made sure with a sparkling run past three defenders before firing a shot inside Lux's near post. Barça's recording breaking run continues, and they ended the day eleven points clear at the top of the table.