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‘I owe you one’: Barcelona midfielder expresses gratitude to Lamine Yamal after win vs Mallorca

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Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

Had Ilkay Gundogan converted his penalty in the first half last night, Barcelona may have registered a more comfortable win over Mallorca at Montjuic.

As the script had it, however, it did it the hard way and needed some individual brilliance from Lamine Yamal to pull them through.

The win reduced Barcelona’s deficit to Real Madrid to just six points, albeit temporarily, but the situation would have been far worse had points been dropped. Needless to say, they now have the momentum on their side heading into the Champions League midweek.

Gundogan stays grounded

Ilkay Gundogan has always been one to express himself unfiltered after games. His reaction after the clash last night was no different, as he praised the collective for the result while heaping special praise on the match-winner.

“Well deserved victory at home! Thank you for your support tonight. I owe you one, Lamine Yamal. Tuesday: great Champions League match for us. Visca el Barça!,” he posted on his X account.

For the German international to publicly post that he owes one to his 16-year-old teammate speaks volumes of Gundogan’s personality and leadership.

He was, in fact, one of the team’s best players in the clash against Mallorca last night.

Eyes on Napoli

As Gundogan emphasised in his social media post, Barcelona now stare a stiff challenge in the eye in Napoli midweek. Having salvaged just a 1-1 draw in Italy despite dominating the game, they have all the work to do at Montjuic in the second leg.

Pedri and Frenkie de Jong will both be unavailable for the clash tomorrow, leaving Xavi with few options in midfield. The German veteran, thus, will be critical in deciding Barcelona’s chances of advancing and will look to strike up a special understanding with in-form Yamal on the night.

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