Spanish giants FC Barcelona have, on Monday night, confirmed a fresh pair of blows on the personnel front.
De Jong the difference
Xavi and co. were of course back in action a little over 24 hours ago.
In their first outing of the new year, the heavily-depleted Blaugrana made the trip to Son Moix to face Mallorca, desperate for all three points amid their efforts to keep pace with the European contenders in La Liga.
And, when all was said and done, secure a timely victory is precisely what Barca managed.
A hard-fought 90 minutes, in the end, was decided by a solitary goal, netted on the stroke of the interval.
After striking not only the post, but also the crossbar in quick succession, the oft-maligned Luuk de Jong was finally rewarded for his persistence in nodding home Oscar Mingueza’s deep delivery to the back post:
After hitting the post earlier in the half, Luuk de Jong puts Barca in front just before half time! 🔵🔴
A towering header at the back post from the Dutch striker 💥 pic.twitter.com/BFZLkFgr9I
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) January 2, 2022
Torres’ early blow
After getting their endeavours in La Liga firmly back on track, though, Barcelona will now swiftly turn their attentions back towards matters on the cup front.
This comes with another outing to come in just 48 hours’ time, when Xavi’s troops make the trip to Andalusia, for a Copa del Rey Last-32 meeting with Linares Deportivo.
As proved the case against Mallorca, the Blaugrana are set to be unable to call on a whole host of key performers for the clash, with the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Sergino Dest and Gavi currently in the midst of spells in self isolation, owing to positive tests for Covid-19.
And, as alluded to above, on Monday, the personnel woes facing the Catalans have only continued to mount.
In a post across the club’s social media platforms a short time ago, Barca confirmed that both midfield sensation Pedri, and January addition Ferran Torres, have joined the list of Covid cases at the Camp Nou.
The pair, in turn, look set to be ruled out for at least the club’s next two fixtures.
LATEST NEWS | Pedri and Ferran Torres have tested positive for Covid-19. The players are in good health and are in isolation at their homes. The Club has informed the relevant authorities. pic.twitter.com/3jDYDZuITz
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 3, 2022