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Mallorca 0-4 Barcelona: Barca back with a bang and move five points clear of Real Madrid as Arturo Vidal scores after 65 seconds and Martin Braithwaite lashes in his first for the club before Lionel Messi seals victory.
Martin Braithwaite scored his first goal for Barcelona and Luis Suarez returned from a long layoff as Quique Setien’s side returned to La Liga action with a comprehensive 4-0 win away to Mallorca on Saturday night.
Arturo Vidal headed Barca in front with just over a minute on the clock as he rose to power home a Jordi Alba cross from the left.
The visitors threatened to add more in a dominant spell after that, but Mallorca eventually settled and created some moments of danger through former Barca youngster Takefusa Kubo, who is on loan from Real Madrid.
But the home side’s hopes of getting back into the game were dashed when Messi headed a ball across for Braithwaite and the Danish striker, who had been a surprise starter ahead of Suarez, finished with a powerful half-volley.
Braithwaite did not celebrate, perhaps amid the suspicion of a handball in the build-up, but the goal stood after a lengthy VAR check.
Barca was in cruise control after that and after Suarez replaced Griezmann to make his comeback following five months on the sidelines due to knee surgery, his compatriot Ronald Araujo struck the post from a tight angle.
Messi later played a ball over the top for Alba to run clear and score a third with just over 10 minutes left and the Argentine, not to be denied himself, rounded off an easy win as he took up a Suarez pass, cut inside and fired in via a slight deflection deep into added time.
Setien’s side moves provisionally five clear of second-placed Real Madrid, in action at home to Eibar on Sunday, while Mallorca remains in trouble third from bottom with 10 games left.