An own gol. In the 89th minute. A saved penalty. Loose pass after loose pass. Zambrotta and Thuram looking like they left their footballing brains in Turin. Messi with his head down. Eto'o off the pace. It was not a good time at the Camp Nou on Sunday night. Mallorca are a very limited side, they packed the defense and pressured the blaugrana but penalty notwithstanding, they offered next to nothing going forward. Much like Barça, who time and time again gave away posession in midfield or lashed a cross out for a throw. They had chances, Saviola drawing a good double save from Moya and a Marquez header that came off the post, but they were more anomaly than the norm.
Barça dominated the game without ever looking like winning it until Xavi's freekick bounced around the six yard box, off Marquez, Saviola and finally former blaugrana Fernando Navarro and into the net. Outpourings of relief all around and a 1-0 victory, combined with Sevilla's defeat at the Mestalla and Madrid being mugged in Santander (I think both penalties were legit, certainly the second one and Reals only gol did come from a farcical mistake from the Santander defense) leaves Barça four points clear of the chasing pack with eight games remaining.
Of the many negatives that came out of the Mallorca game was an injury to Belletti that will see him out for the next four weeks. He'll be joined by Edmilson, who's out for two weeks. Thus neither is in the squad for the Copa game tonight against Getafe. Also out are Motta and 'dinho, plus Sylvinho and Giuly are not included. If he's good, Santi Ezquerro might get a run out.