Lewandowski grabbed his ninth goal in seven league matches since his summer move from Bayern Munich with a low,
curling finish into the bottom corner.
They had a chance to equalise but Jaume Costa was denied by a superb save from goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Mallorca – FC Barcelona – Played on 10/01/ 2022
Ter Stegen also made fine stops from Antonio Sanchez and Lee Kang-in as Barcelona claimed the victory.
Barca started the day second in La Liga and have now won six and drawn one of their seven games.
Victory takes them above Real Madrid,
who have a 100% record from six matches and will return to the top if they beat Osasuna at home on Sunday.
Lewandowski had the chance to grab another goal but his attempted lob was saved by home goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.
Barcelona are next in action on Tuesday with a vital Champions League tie in Italy against Inter Milan,
with both sides having one win and one loss from their opening matches.
Mallorca fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Barcelona which sent the visitors to the top of La Liga’s table on Saturday evening.
“Oh my God,
” Mallorca’s manager Javier Aguirre gushed pre-game. “I’ve seen him on TV. It’s a good signing for the league.” Well,
the arrival of Robert Lewandowski is certainly a plus for one particular La Liga side – and it wasn’t Mallorca as the prolific Pole proved the difference.
The defensively stubborn hosts regularly sunk into a compact 5-4-1 off the ball,
desperately trying to limit any space between the lines when Barcelona sauntered over halfway.
Barcelona patiently prodded and probed but were rebuffed during 20 minutes
encouraging minutes for Aguirre’s side. And then Lewandowski got the ball.
Luring Martin Valjent out of the back-three with his wandering,
Lewandowski snuck into the box to collect Ansu Fati’s pass. The slippery number nine chopped onto his right foot with a stamp which sent a spray of surface water into the air. By the time the droplets landed,
the ball was rustling Predrag Rajkovic’s net. Wide of the left-hand edge of the six-yard box,
Lewandowski arrowed a vicious effort inside the far post.
Barcelona’s league season restarted after the international break with a game at Iberostar Estadi on Saturday night. Their opponents and hosts on the night were Mallorca,
a team over whom the Catalans boasted of a nine-game winning streak in recent meetings.
Xavi Hernandez shuffled his deck on the night and made changes across the field. While some rotations were made while keeping the hectic schedule in mind,
he was obligated to make some changes owing to the injury crisis.
Alejandro Balde started the game at right-back,
with Jordi Alba deployed at the other full-back position. In central defence,
Xavi opted for a duo of Andreas Christensen and Gerard Pique.
Franck Kessie got a deserved start at San Moix in place of Pedri,
who was rested. He played alongside Sergio Busquets and Gavi in midfield. Meanwhile, Ansu Fati started the game on the left wing,
with Ousmane Dembele and Robert Lewandowski completing the outfield.
The first big chance of the game fell to the hosts in the 11th minute when Mallorca’s corner fell straight to Inigo Ruiz. However,
his shot went above the bar.
Antonio Sanchez provided a piercing presence bursting forward from midfield. In the first half,
his low cross picked out Mallorca’s left wingback Jaume Costa. Having drifted into the middle of Barcelona’s box,
escaping the attention of Alejandro Balde to meet Antonio Sanchez’s low cross, Costa’s side-footed effort from seven yards out struck Marc-Andre ter Stegen square in the chest.
After the break,
Sanchez forced Ter Stegen into another tip-away with a shot himself,
darting behind Gavi and into the penalty box.
With an advantage to cling to,
Barcelona favoured control over another goal,
dialling back the tempo in a bid to quell Mallorca’s threat.
a flurry of turnovers from the Catalans gave Mallorca a flicker of hope during the closing stages,
conspiring to conjure a nervy conclusion for the gold-clad visitors. Nevertheless, Barcelona held onto their slender lead,
ensuring Xavi remains unbeaten in his first 18 matches away from home as a La Liga manager – breaking Zinedine Zidane’s record with Real Madrid.
Barcelona returned to action after a fortnight of international matches as they took on Mallorca away from home.
After a hectic two weeks, and ahead of a key month in the season, Xavi made a few changes to the starting lineup. Raphinha was rested in favour of Ansu Fati, while Pedri made way for Franck Kessie in midfield.
In defence, with Sergi Roberto still not completely fit, Hector Bellerin, Jules Kounde, and Ronald Araujo injured, Alejandro Balde got the nod to start at right-back. Jordi Alba was deployed on the right, with Gerard Pique starting in the centre with Andreas Christensen.
Credit where credit is due, Mallorca continued their stellar defending this season, keeping Barcelona in check through the first 45.
A moment of individual brilliance from Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock, though, which was enough to guide the Blaugranes to three points.