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Closed doors proves no obstacle to selfie-seeking Messi fan

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Mallorca did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the fan was able to access the stadium.

The breach of security was all the more surprising in view of the fact that only 229 people are allowed to enter stadiums for matches from now until the end of the season under the league’s latest protocol on resuming the campaign.

The protocol also includes strict guidelines on how teams enter and leave stadiums for matches and obliges players to wear masks and gloves on the way from their team hotel to the ground as well as in the dressing room, among other rules.

Barca picked up where they left off before a three-month Spanish La Liga stoppage due to coronavirus pandemic with a dominant 4-0 away victory.

Barcelona increased their lead to five points from Real Madrid who host Eibar on Sunday.

Messi showed no signs of being slowed down by the right leg muscle pain he suffered last week that put his return in doubt.

The Argentine and his teammates embraced after first-half goals by Arturo Vidal and Martin Braithwaite and did not maintain social-distancing recommendations during cooling breaks.

Messi nodded on a ball for Braithwaite on 37 minutes to get his first goal since joining Barcelona mid-season to double the second-minute opener by Vidal.

Jordi Alba struck with Messi providing the assist on 79 minutes before the club’s captain scored on his own in stoppage time.

“The sensations are good, to be the first match after so long not playing and under these special circumstances,” Barcelona coach Quique Setien said.

“You could have expected a slower pace and a bit of rust as far as handling the ball, but I think we have made a good start to this final sprint of 10 games to finish the season.”

After this round there will be 10 matches remaining in an accelerated finish to the season.

Earlier in the day, bottom side Espanyol beat Alaves 2-0 with the hosts taking advantage of the 19th-minute red card of visiting goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco for handling the ball outside the penalty area.

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Celta Vigo were beaten 1-0 by Villarreal and Leganes lost 2-1 at home to Valladolid.

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