Barcelona travelled to relegation favourites Elche on Saturday, looking to pick up three points that will help them towards yet another LaLiga title. The Blaugrana are well and truly clear at the top of the table – so now it’s a case of trying to lift the trophy as soon as possible.
ELC: Badia; Clerc, Mascarell, Bigas, Palacios; Blanco, Gumbau, Carmona, Morente; Fidel; Milla
FCB: Ter Stegen; Alba, Alonso, Araujo, Kounde; S. Roberto, Garcia, Gavi; Fati, Lewandowski, Torres
Though Barcelona were in control of the possession during the first few minutes of the game, Elche fought like they were supposed to in their home ground. Unfortunately, none of Elche’s attempts seemed to concern Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
After the first goal, the game turned to be a complete siege from Barça, who took no prisoners as they sought to maintain their advantage and even put away multiple other chances to increase the score. The visitors found themselves one goal up at half-time, thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s 20th minute strike. The Polish forward did well to compose himself amongst a mass of bodies, and put the ball beyond Edgar Badia to claim his sixteenth LaLiga goal of the season.
It was a similar story in the second half – Elche did have a few chances, but they were unable to put them away. In one of their opportunities, Carmona went one-on-one against Ter Stegen, but unfortunately he injured himself before striding into the box and was unable to finish the play.
Not long after, Ansu Fati scored the second and put the game to bed. After some good play with Robert Lewandowski, he fired a right-footed shot from outside the box past Badia at the near post.
That was not the end of the story though, as Lewandowski bagged his second goal of the game following several mistakes made by Elche’s defenders. Ferran Torres finished a wonderful pass from Lewandowski to make it 0-4 just minutes later – Lewandowski notched the assist for that strike too.
Having won against Elche, Barcelona’s attention turns to their upcoming game against historical rivals Real Madrid in the second leg of Copa del Rey semifinals. The Blaugrana lead 1-0 from the first leg. The LaLiga title race between the two clubs is nearly over as Barcelona are fifteen points clear at the top – so Real Madrid will be looking to deny the Catalan side at least one trophy.
Elche’s next match is against Osasuna, who sit ninth in the table. They drew to RCD Mallorca yesterday, and are preparing to face Athletic Club Bilbao in the other semifinal of the Copa del Rey ahead of hosting Elche next Saturday. However, it looks as if Elche’s time in the top flight will be coming to an end soon – as they sit bottom of the table, 13 points below Almeria who currently hold 19th.