Barcelona 3-0 Elche: The old Messi is back!
Full-time: BarcelonaÂ 3-0Â Elche
Goals: MessiÂ (42′, 63′), Munir (46′)
Match date: AugustÂ 24,Â 2014
Stadium:Â Camp Nou
Competition:Â La Liga
Barcelona line-up: Bravo, Daniel Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Rafinha, Munir, Lionel Messi.
Barcelona has kicked off their La Liga campaign in the best possible way, after hosting and defeating Elche CFÂ by a clear 3-0. Neymar ended upÂ missing the game after havingÂ sprained his ankle earlier this week in a team practice andÂ it was Lionel Messi who naturally drewÂ all the spotlight to himself.
The Argentine starÂ made his debut inÂ La Liga with two goals and a quiteÂ promising individualÂ performance that allows the fans to think that his best version might very well be back. Not only heÂ scored a brace,Â but he has also been very active and involved in the team’s attacking plays, somethingÂ in which he has struggled at over the past few months.
The fans at the Camp NouÂ got to see the opener around the 42nd minute of the first half, whenÂ the visitors lost a ball on a very dangerous area, allowing for BarĂ§a to immediately create danger from there. Busquets was the one intercepting the pass and he immediatelyÂ sent it over to Lionel Messi, who wasÂ just a few meters in front of him. The Argentina international got rid of a couple defenders without having to sweat much and then struck the ball low to the far post, sending Barcelona to the lead still before half-time.
The 2-0 came shortlyÂ after the game had resumed for the second half. The goalscorer was the debutant Munir El Haddadi Mohamed, a 18-year old forward that had the chance to play his first game for Barcelona‘s first team as a starter. The Moroccan descendant managed to escapeÂ Elche‘s offside trap and benefited from a slight deflection on an opponent’s head when RakiticÂ assisted him with a great pass. Munir kept his cool and with a nifty finishing touch he beat Elche‘s goalkeeper and extended BarĂ§a‘sÂ lead to 2 goals. Certainly aÂ dream start for Munir, who probably won’t have many more chances to play later this season, when both Neymar and Luis SuĂˇrezÂ find themselvesÂ fit to give their contribution.
The final score was set in the 63rd minute and once again, it was Lionel Messi making all the difference.Â The 27-year old picked up a pass from Daniel Alves when he was alreadyÂ standing inside Elche‘s box, was lucky enough to keep the possession after a rebound and then simplyÂ found the space he needed to curl the ball into the far post. That was a classic Messi goal,Â where he basically seems to outplay everyone around him with very little effort.
WithÂ this Sunday’s 3-0 win, Barcelona are now temporarily leadingÂ La Liga‘s standings, as they patiently wait the outcome of theÂ Real Madrid vs Cordoba game, as well as Atletico Madrid‘s visit to Rayo Vallecano. Both matches will take place later this Monday, roughly at the same time as the Manchester City vs Liverpool clash in England, for the BarclaysÂ English Premier League.
Sources: fcbarcelona.comÂ / ronaldo7.netÂ /Â theguardian.com
Watch the highlights video from BarcelonaÂ 3-0Â ElcheÂ match:
Barcelona match photos against Elche: