LIVE: Barcelona vs Elche

LIVE: Barcelona vs Elche

90′ + 1′ Three minutes of stoppage time are added. 

90′ Nino can’t quite connect with Carrillo’s knockdown inside the box and the hosts clear. 

88′ Barcelona are confidently looking to add a fourth, but Elche are still defending bravely as we get closer to stoppage time.

86′ Umtiti requires treatment after wrestling with Carrillo, but he should be okay to continue.

84′ Chance for Griezmann! Barcelona rip through Elche again as Griezmann finds himself through on goal! However, Badia forces the attacker wide and – although Griezmann manages to go around the goalkeeper – his eventual shot ripples into the side netting!  

83′ Griezmann slams a shot against the bar, but it wouldn’t have counted – Dest was ruled offside in the build-up.


81′ Mfulu is replaced in midfield by Luismi.

79′ Barcelona have been much-improved in the second half, and they can now look forward to a morale-boosting three points.


77′ Pique is also replaced by Lenglet.


77′ The second change sees Alba make way for Dest.

A. Griezmann

M. Braithwaite


76′ Barcelona respond to their third goal with a triple substitution: first, Braithwaite comes off for Griezmann.


73′ Braithwaite has been excellent since the break and he gets his second assist. This time, he resists the temptation to shoot from Messi’s cross and instead delivers it on a plate for Alba with a cushioned header!


73′ ALBA! 3-0! Alba pokes in from close range to cap off a wonderful team move, after Messi’s pinpoint cross is selflessly headed across goal by Braithwaite!


72′ Milla also departs with Nino taking his place. 


72′ Boye is replaced up top by Carrillo.

70′ That should be the game now for Barcelona; Elche have defended stoutly but they haven’t shown the attacking intent to find two goals in these final 20 minutes.   


68′ It was a delightful finish from Messi, but the run from De Jong was perhaps even better! The midfielder surged past Mfulu, before cutting between two defenders to get into the box and set up his iconic teammate!   


68′ MESSI GETS HIS SECOND! 2-0! De Jong makes a brilliant run through midfield, riding a number of challenges before selflessly squaring it to Messi, who shimmies into the six-yard box before dinking it over Badia and in!


67′ Trincao is replaced by Busquets in a conservative change for the hosts.

66′ Despite their control of the game Barcelona have only mustered four shots today – they’ll be hoping for more opportunities as Elche gradually push forward for an equaliser.  

64′ Dembele twists and turns on the edge of the box, before bending an effort that Josema deflects away.

62′ Another fluent Barcelona move ends with Braithwaite’s drilled cross getting hacked away by Verdu.


60′ Rigoni is surprisingly replaced by Morente in attack, after a promising display from the winger.


60′ Elche make a double substitution: the first sees Cifu make way for Fidel.

58′ The away side are struggling to break out of their own half right now, as Barcelona continue to pin them in.  

56′ Chance for Braithwaite! The attacker has come alive in this half, as Elche struggle to clear an Alba cross, before it falls to Braithwaite who has a close-range volley blocked wide by Josema!

54′ The hosts enjoy a long spell of possession in their own half as they look to control the game after taking the lead.  

52′ Well, that’s the ideal start to the half for Barcelona. The longer this one remained at 0-0 the more you feared that their fragile confidence would lead them to another disappointing day.   

50′ Elche look to quickly get back level but Boye’s shot from 12 yards screws well wide.   


48′ Braithwaite had a quiet first half, but he responds excellently by playing a deft, first-time flick into Messi who finishes precisely!


48′ MESSI! 1-0! It’s a brilliant goal for the hosts immediately after the break! Messi runs ominously at the Elche defence, before playing a slick one-two with Braithwaite and firing a one-one through Badia and in!


46′ An attacking change at the break for the hosts: the midfielder Pjanic is replaced by the winger, Dembele.

46′ Barcelona get the second half underway.    

Braithwaite has offered little in attack for the hosts and you’d think they’ll look to replace him if that doesn’t change in the second period.

The score remains 0-0 after a tight half between Barcelona and Elche. The hosts had two chances – and just two shots overall – with both falling to Trincao. First, the winger had a curling effort saved from 12 yards, before he then dribbled free of the defence only for Badia to make a brilliant close-range stop to tip it away. Elche were largely compact and defensive, but they also had a chance to take the lead when Boye blazed over. Nevertheless, this has been a game of few shots and it’s unsurprisingly goalless.       

45′ + 2′ HALF TIME: Barcelona 0-0 Elche

45′ + 1′ Barcelona work a dangerous corner short to Pedri, whose curling cross forces Badia into an acrobatic leap to grab the delivery.  

45′ Milla and Rigoni get away on the counter-attack, and Milla drives at the backtracking defence before hitting a 25-yard effort straight at Ter Stegen.

43′ Both teams seem content to regroup and take this scoreline into the break as we approach half time.    

41′ Josema skips out of defence and hits a testing throughball towards Rigoni that trickles out of play.

39′ Messi clips another free-kick into the box, but it’s nodded away by Boye.

37′ Another move comes to an end for the hosts as Trincao loses out to Mojica, before fouling the defender.   

35′ There have been just four shots between the sides so far, after an extremely tight opening 30 minutes.  

33′ Milla hooks it across from the byline, forcing Umtiti to concede a corner. However, the resulting delivery swings over everyone, before Guti slams a wild half-volley high and wide.  

31′ Elche are offering little in attack, but they’re restricting Barcelona effectively right now.

29′ Milla trips Pedri 25 yards from goal, presenting Barcelona with a promising shooting opportunity. Messi opts to cross it though, and De Jong is immediately penalised for an offside.  

27′ Mingueza is down after Josema inadvertently trod on his hand and the game is briefly paused for treatment. 

25′ The hosts are just starting to build the pressure on Elche, and the visitors respond by maintaining possession inside their own half for a spell.  

23′ Messi and Pedri combine with a neat interchange on the edge of the box, before Barragan puts it out for a corner. Barcelona whip a few deliveries into the box in quick succession, but the away side clear.     

21′ Brilliant save from Badia! Trincao dances past two challenges inside the box, before finding himself with a clear shot at goal from six yards! However, Badia anticipates his side-foot effort and adjusts to get across and palm it to safety!  

19′ De Jong can’t find Messi inside the box and Elche break quickly through Rigoni. The winger tears down the left flank and bursts past Mingueza, before firing in a cross that Alba puts behind. Again, the away side’s corner amounts to nothing though.

17′ Elche’s win last time out was a crucial one for the club and they’ll be desperate to continue that momentum after a solid opening to this one. With their victory against Eibar, Elche ended a streak of 16 games without a win in LaLiga, the longest they have suffered in the same top-flight campaign since 1988/89 (also 16).

15′ Elche are mostly sitting deep right now – they’re attempting to frustrate Barcelona, before hitting them with rapid counter-attacks.   

13′ Guti’s corner is cleared by Pique at the second attempt.

12′ De Jong loses possession in a dangerous area to Mfulu, but the midfielder recovers to poke it away for a corner. 

10′ The hosts appeal for a penalty after Braithwaite goes down while making a run off the ball, but the referee and VAR remain unmoved.  

8′ Barcelona have started well in possession, but Boye’s chance is another reminder that they can easily be exposed at the back. 

6′ Boye goes close! Elche almost take the lead as Rigoni takes on Mingueza, before squaring it across to Boye who rifles a powerful shot narrowly over the bar from 12 yards!

5′ Barcelona continue their confident start with a spell of purposeful possession inside the Elche half.   

3′ Chance for Trincao! Messi’s first time pass sets Trincao free inside the box and the winger cuts inside, before bending an effort towards the far post that Badia pushes to safety!  

1′ Elche get the first half underway.

The players are emerging from the tunnel and kick off is just seconds away!

Barcelona’s fragile defence will be under scrutiny again today. They’ve conceded in each of their last eight games in all competitions (15 goals in total). The last time that they went more matches in a row without a clean sheet was in March 2013 (21 goals in 13 games).

Elche make four switches after beating Eibar: Morente, Carrillo, Calvo and Marcone make way.

Barcelona make five changes to the side that were held to a frustrating draw by Cadiz last time out: Dest, Lenglet, Busquets, Dembele and Griezmann all drop out, while Mingueza, Umtiti, Pjanic, Trincao and Braithwaite come in. 

SUBS: Tete Morente, Luismi, Guido Carrillo, John Donald, Jony Alamo, Paulo Gazzaniga, Fidel, Dani Calvo, Gerard Barri, Nino, Lluis Andreu, Helibelton Palacios.

ELCHE (3-4-2-1): Edgar Badia; Antonio Barragan, Gonzalo Verdu, Josema; Cifu, Omenuke Mfulu, Raul Guti, Johan Mojica; Emiliano Rigoni, Pere Milla; Lucas Boye.

SUBS: Matheus Fernandes, Sergino Dest, Junior Firpo, Antoine Griezmann, Konrad De la Fuente, Sergio Busquets, Clement Lenglet, Inaki Pena, Neto, Ousmane Dembele, Riqui Puig.

BARCELONA (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic, Pedri; Trincao, Lionel Messi, Martin Braithwaite.

Elche, meanwhile, are sitting in 18th – but with two games in hand on the sides above them, they’ll be hoping for a positive result to boost their bid to avoid relegation.

Hello and welcome to live commentary of this LaLiga fixture between Barcelona and Elche. The hosts enter this one in need of a lift: they’ve won once in their last four games across all competitions – including a 4-1 defeat against PSG in the Champions League – and they’ll be looking to return to form today.

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