Callbacks to the previous game, very similar in terms of how game unfolded, progressed. Elche w/ very solid defensive structure, often defending with a back 6, suffocating zones on the wings, leaving minimum gaps to exploit for full-backs. Elche nullified Alba & Mingueza, and in general, the Barça attacks in the first 45 minutes.
Blaugranas had a disappointing first half. Ineffective, not intensive, struggled to create chances, no proper occupation of zones. Messi had to drop deeper than usual to help in build up phase. No collective superiority, Elche came prepared and produced a very good display.
Barcelona reacted very well in the 2nd half. Messi’s beautiful run and a quick one-two w/ Braithwaite led to an opener, fantastic goal. While trailing, Elche opened much more gaps, and Barcelona capitalized on it greatly. De Jong’s beautiful run and Messi’s extraordinary finishing gave Barcelona a 2 goal lead.
Jordi Alba scored the third and the final goal after a great combination between him, Messi and Martin Braithwaite. Great display in the 2nd half. Moreover, an important win, and some key players got much needed rest. We move on onto the 2 upcoming games against Sevilla. One in the semi-finals of CDR, and the other in La Liga.