Barcelona‘s shock Supercopa de Espana defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao rattled the club to its core. They bounced back to beat UE Cornella in the Copa del Rey. They didn’t do it with style and grace, but they got the job done with a good measure of tenacity and grit.
They were back in La Liga action this afternoon, locking horns with Elche at Estadio Martinez Valero. It’s the seventh game in a row Barcelona have played away from home – the last time they played at Camp Nou was on 29 December against Eibar. Despite this, they’re still on the hunt for their fourth consecutive victory.
Atletico Madrid are ten points clear of Barcelona, so it’s imperative for any sliver of hope they retain of a title challenge that they can claim victory today and reclaim third spot at the expense of Sevilla, who leapfrogged them yesterday.
Barcelona dominated the opening exchanges without providing much of a cutting edge. The Blaugrana put in a patient, probing first-half performance, and got their reward six minutes before the break. Martin Braithwaite played the ball from the left for Diego Gonzalez to accidentally direct it goal-wards, with Frenkie de Jong on hand to ensure it crossed the line.
De Jong was pivotal in Barcelona’s second, too, driving through the Elche defence, pulling right and then putting the ball on a plate for second-half substitute Riqui Puig, who made no mistake with a smart header and put the final nail in Elche’s coffin.
Elche 0-2 Barcelona – Ricard Puig goalpic.twitter.com/hw7YV00fBQ
— noobfcb (@noob_fcb) January 24, 2021