Barcelona returned to La Liga action on Saturday at Real Mallorca’s Son Moix Stadium with the game being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yet that didn’t stop the match being interrupted by a pitch invader.
The fixture was brought to a halt in the second half when an intruder ran on to the pitch wearing an Argentina shirt and tried to take a selfie with Barcelona players Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi.
Real Mallorca staff swiftly removed the pitch invader and the game continued without any further interruptions. Barcelona went on to win 4-0 thanks to goals from Arturo Vidal, Martin Braithwaite, Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi.
According to Emilio Pérez de Rozas at El Periodico, the pitch invader said afterwards he had climbed a high fence and wanted to get a photo with Messi.
“I have come with my friends and, after 40 minutes of play, I have told them ‘come on, I have to sneak in’ and I have jumped a fence of about two meters, I have calmly descended the steps of the stands and I have jumped into the field. First I have seen Alba and I have taken a photo with him and, later, I have tried to go for Leo, but he escaped me.”
The win means that Barcelona move five points clear at the top of La Liga. Real Madrid have the chance to cut the gap to two points on Sunday when they take on Eibar.
Barcelona Back to Business in Real Mallorca
Barcelona’s match at Mallorca was their first since March and saw the Catalan giants resume with an important win against relegation-threatened opposition.
An unpredictable La Liga season has seen Barca beaten five times already and replace manager Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setien in January. Yet the defending champions were in no mood to make mistakes on Saturday and comfortably took home all three points.
Vidal took just 67 minutes to put Barcelona in front with a header, while Braithwaite scored his first Barcelona goal eight minutes before half-time. Alba and Messi both added late strikes as the champions cruised to victory.
Fans Could Return Before Season’s End
Although La Liga is currently being played in empty stadiums there is optimism some fans could return before the campaign is wrapped up at the end of July.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has told reporters he is hopeful some supporters could be allowed back if it is deemed safe to do so.
“Of course it won’t be the entire stadium and there will be special precautionary measures. If we can have even 10% or 15% by the end of the season, if that happens we will be very happy about that because that’s a sign that we are getting back to some form of normality. When we celebrate will be when we actually finish the competitions, both the First Division and the Second Division. This crisis still hasn’t come to an end.”
Barcelona has little time to rest as they return to action on Tuesday at home to Leganes.