MX23RW : Friday, February 26 12:12:11| >> :120:9302:9302:
Jan 24, 2021 at 3.15pm UK at Martinez Valero
ElcheElche
0-2
BarcelonaBarcelona
FT(HT: 0-1)
de Jong (39'), Puig (89')
Busquets (68'), Griezmann (84')

Result: Frenkie De Jong, Riqui Puig register as Barcelona overcome Elche

Result: De Jong, Puig register as Barcelona overcome Elche
© Reuters
Frenkie De Frenkie de Jong had opened the scoring before the break.

Substitute Riqui Puig struck at the death as Barcelona left it late to secure a fifth-successive LaLiga win on the road as they were made to work hard for the points at lowly Elche.

Frenkie De Jong's 39th-minute opener was all that separated the sides as the clock ticked down towards the final minute of the 90 at the Martinez Valero Stadium before Puig headed home the Dutchman's cross to seal a 2-0 victory.

Elche kept themselves in it to the death thanks in large part to a string of fine saves by goalkeeper Edgar Badia, who denied substitute Trincao twice inside the final seven minutes.

Victory lifted the Catalan side above Sevilla into third place, three points adrift of arch-rivals Real Madrid in second, but still seven adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid ahead of their evening kick-off against Valencia.

The visitors started in determined fashion and defender Ronald Araujo headed over from Ousmane Dembele's corner before the same man fed Antoine Griezmann and saw him force a 12th-minute save from Badia.

Elche responded with Raul Guti heading Johan Mojica's delivery over from close range eight minutes later, but it was Barca who continued to press and Badia had to field Sergio Busquets' attempt from distance 11 minutes before the break.

The breakthrough finally arrived six minutes before half-time when defender Diego Gonzalez's effort to prevent Martin Braithwaite's cross reaching Griezmann only succeeded in setting up De Jong to tap home on the line.

Elche keeper Edgar Badia  had worked hard to keep Barcelona at bay before being beaten a second time
Elche keeper Edgar Badia had worked hard to keep Barcelona at bay before being beaten a second time (Alberto Saiz/AP)

Elche midfielder Josan called upon goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to make his first save of note seconds later, but Ronald Koeman's side went in at the break with the slightest of advantages.

Guti and Emiliano Rigoni both went close as Elche attempted to drag themselves back into the game immediately after the break with Ter Stegen needing to be at his best to prevent the latter from making the most of a defensive slip.

However, Badia had to keep out Dembele's 56th-minute effort and was stretched further by Pedri's deflected strike 11 minutes later with Barca looking to wrap up the points.

Trincao forced another vital stop from the keeper with seven minutes remaining and then kept out his 87th-minute header to keep the home side in the hunt, but there was nothing he could do to repel fellow substitute Puig's header at the death.

ID:431960:cQx:QQ:

How you voted: Elche vs Barcelona

Elche
7.8%
Draw
17.2%
Barcelona
75.0%
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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman pictured on January 17, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico23174245162955
2Real Madrid24164442192352
3Barcelona24155453223150
4Sevilla23153534161848
5Real Sociedad24118541202141
6Villarreal2481333325837
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11Celta Vigo247892936-729
12Valencia246993032-227
13Osasuna2467112233-1125
14CadizCadiz2467112140-1925
15Getafe2466121730-1324
16AlavesAlaves2457122038-1822
17ElcheElche2349102034-1421
18EibarEibar2449111927-821
19Real Valladolid2449112235-1321
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