Barcelona Move Back To 3rd Position In The Points Table After Victory Over Elche

Barcelona faced Elche for their 19th fixture of their La Liga 2020/21 campaign at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero yesterday. It was an exciting fixture as the Catalans had moved down to the 4th position after Sevilla’s win over Cadiz a day before. So, they were aiming to move back to their spot in the Top 3. On the other hand, Elche was in the 18th position and had a chance to get out of the relegation zone. Barcelona had won 10 matches until now, drawn 4, and lost 4 whereas Elche had only won 3, drawn 8, and lost 6. However, it wasn’t going to be that easy for the Blaugranas as they were missing their star player i.e. Lionel Messi. The 33-year-old Argentine had been handed a 2-match ban after his red card against Athletic Club in the Spanish Supercup final.

Barcelona Move Back To 3rd Position In The Points Table After Victory Over Elche
A still of Ter Stegen, the Barcelona goalkeeper during the pre-match warmup.

Match Summary: Barcelona vs Elche:

First Half:

The match began as Elche kicked off and the hosts were trying to dominate the possession. However, it didn’t take Barcelona much time to steal the ball from them and get running towards their rivals’ goal. Soon enough, they were creating chances and dominating the hosts completely at their home ground. But, the Catalan giants were not able to convert their chances and get their lead. They were creating attacks one after the other and causing trouble for the Elche defense and goalkeeper. However, hosts remained calm and kept the scores tied at 0-0

Barcelona Move Back To 3rd Position In The Points Table After Victory Over Elche
A still of Frenkie de Jong celebrating with his teammates after he scored the first goal for his team.

Finally, in the 39th minute, Frenkie De Dong struck to score the first goal for Barcelona. Braithwaite delivered a brilliant cross into the six-yard box for Griezmann. However, Gonzalez got a slice on the ball due to which the ball was going in as an own goal. But, De Jong made sure the ball went in as he smashed into the back of the net from the goal line to get his side the lead they needed. As a result, the score at the end of the first half was 1-0 in Barcelona’s favor.

Second Half:

The second half began as Barcelona kicked off and even though they had the lead now, they were looking for some more goals. However, now Elche were trying their best to score an equalizer by applying pressure on the Catalans. In fact, in the 55th minute, Rigoni had a brilliant one-on-one chance with Ter Stegen after Mingueza made a mistake. But, the German goalkeeper made an excellent save to deny the striker. Consequently, the match continued and both the teams kept working towards getting themselves a goal. Barcelona were creating many chances once again but were failing to finish them off.

Barcelona Move Back To 3rd Position In The Points Table After Victory Over Elche
A still of Riqui Puig (left) celebrating with Jordi Alba (right) after he scored Barcelona’s second goal of the night.

Finally, in the 89th minute, Riqui Puig scored the second decisive goal to seal the victory for the Catalans. The 21-year old midfielder made an immediate impact after coming off the bench as a substitute for Pedri. After an extraordinary run down the right flank, De Jong chipped a beautiful assist inside the 6-yard box which was headed neatly by Puig.

With this, the Blaugranas sealed their victory with a scoreline of 2-0 at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero. They climbed back to the 3rd position in the points table after their win pushing Sevilla down. Elche, on the contrary, moved down to the 19th position. Anyhow, both the teams will now be preparing for their upcoming league games. Barcelona will be facing Athletic Club in their next match whereas Elche will be locking heads with Valencia.