Barcelona 3 - 1 Mallorca

Barcelona take a 13-point lead in La Liga after eventually getting past a solid Mallorca side who looked as if they would give their hosts a scare.

The visitors might be struggling to stay above the relegation zone in the league, but for long periods they defied their illustrious hosts. And it was Mallorca who were first to score in the Nou Camp, a long ball on the counter-attack finding Aritz Aduriz on fifteen minutes.

Another quarter of an hour later, however, Thierry Henry's brilliant individual skill levelled things as Barcelona took control of the game.

Yet the home side couldn't find a way through until Eidur Gudjohnsen and Iniesta beat the offside trap to score with 15 minutes left. Iniesta's finish put an end to the Mallorcans' dream of leaving the Nou Camp with a point before an injury-time goal from Yaya Toure closed things off for good.

The match got off to such a slow start that you began to wonder if the Christmas celebrations had not caught up on Barca's team of superstars. Though they kept the ball as efficiently as usual, they did precious little with it and instead seemed to be assuming that they would ease past their visitors with a minimum of effort.

Yet after just a quarter of an hour Mallorca managed to tear up that comfortable script, as a long ball through found Aduriz. His pace took him clear of the Barca defence, leaving him free to lob Victor Valdes from the edge of the box.

After that, Barca threw everything at Mallorca, with Yaya Toure coming within a whisker of finishing a brilliant build-up before Henry's magnificent finish.

Carles Puyol flicked the ball on from a corner, and though it seemed like it would fly past Henry the Frenchman flung his foot high to control the ball before turning and half-volleying it back across the face of the goal and in off the far post.

After that Barcelona controlled the game for long periods, though Mallorca's defence seemed to be holding solid.