Ibrahimovic fires Barca to the top of La Liga

Ibrahimovic scored for the third straight match to fire Barcelona to Victory at Real Mallorca and send the champions three points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 9:52 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:21 AM

The Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range in the 63rd minute, his 15th league goal of the campaign, to end Mallorca’s stubborn resistance and give his side 74 points from 29 matches.

Real Madrid, who host Barca in two weeks for the “Clasico”, can climb back above their arch rivals on goal difference with a win at home to Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Barca weathered an early storm at the Ono Estadi where Mallorca had won 12 of their previous 13 matches.

Striker Aritz Aduriz lashed a shot against the post and Gonzalo Castro forced a fine save from Victor Valdes with a follow-up shot in only the second minute.

Coach Pep Guardiola started with Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Spain midfielder Xavi on the bench and Barca struggled to create chances against a well-organised Mallorca side despite dominating possession.

The pair’s introduction early in the second half gave Barca a fillip and it was Xavi’s corner that eventually found a way through to an unmarked Ibrahimovic who gave home goalkeeper Dudu Aouate no chance.

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