Luuk De Jong header gives Barcelona 1-0 win at Mallorca

Barcelona's Dutch forward Luuk de Jong (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Spanish League football match between RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona at the Visit Mallorca stadium in Palma de Mallorca on January 2, 2022.


Barcelona striker Luuk de Jong's first-half header and a stunning stoppage-time save by Marc-Andre ter Stegen secured a 1-0 win at Mallorca on Sunday in a match where the Catalans were missing 14 players due to COVID-19, injuries and suspensions.

Barca climbed two places to fifth on 31 points from 19 matches, one point behind Atletico Madrid in fourth and 15 adrift of leaders Real Madrid who have played a game more.

It was vindication time for striker De Jong after several media reports that Barca want to move him on this month.

He got his second goal since arriving from Sevilla in the close season - his first for more than three months.

The Dutchman was Barca's best player on Sunday as he also hit the post twice in the first half, once with a bicycle kick.

The goal came just before the break when he headed home from close range after a cross by Oscar Mingueza.

Barca dominated the game until the final minutes when Mallorca started pressing for an equaliser and almost got it.

Barcelona's Dutch forward Luuk de Jong (R) kicks the ball next to Real Mallorca's Argentinian defender Franco Russo (C) during the Spanish League football match between RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona at the Visit Mallorca stadium in Palma de Mallorca on January 2, 2022.


Ter Stegen saved Barca in added time with an unbelievable handball-style reflex save with his right arm, denying Jaume Costa whose close-range strike looked like a sure goal.

"It was an historic win for us, I'm not exaggerating," Xavi told reporters. "Missing so many players, to go back home with a win - it's three points worth their weight in gold.

"The young players showed up and Ter Stegen made a stop for the ages. I'm thrilled that we manage to win."

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