Barcelona beat Elche 3-0 this evening at Camp Nou in La Liga. The result meant that they regained third place by overtaking Sevilla, who in turn had leap-frogged them on Monday evening. The Blaugrana now sit on 50 points, two behind Real Madrid and five behind Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona struggled during the first half to really assert themselves on the game, but Lionel Messi‘s presence proved pivotal at the beginning of the second half. The Argentine carried the ball from deep, performing a one-two with Martin Braithwaite, before slotting home with a golazo to give Barcelona the lead.
3 – Top three players from the top five European league with the most goals in 2021 in all comps:
13 – LIONEL MESSI 🇦🇷
12 – Robert Lewandowski 🇵🇱
10 – Erling Braut Haaland 🇳🇴
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 24, 2021
Messi scored his second just as the game was heading into the final 20 minutes to all but secure the three points for Barcelona and put himself in pole position in the race for the Pichichi. Frenkie de Jong carried the ball from deep expertly before unselfishly squaring for the Argentine, who finished nonchalantly. Messi was involved again in Barcelona’s third, hiking a high ball into Braithwaite who centred for Jordi Alba to finish.
A great moment was captured post-match when Messi was swapping shirts with Elche’s Edgar Badia, a fine goalkeeper in his own right. Badia asked for Messi’s shirt and was obviously star-struck and shocked that the great man would want his in return.
Edgar Badia, who’s a fine goalkeeper in his own right, genuinely star-struck and shocked that Lionel Messi would want to swap shirts with him. This kind of adulation is why he’s the 🐐. pic.twitter.com/36mvRNA9xN
— Alan Feehely (@azulfeehely) February 24, 2021