Estadio Martínez Valero
Liga • Day 20
  • 2nd Half
  • Elche CF
  • FC Barcelona
  • Puig
  • PedriPuig
  • Griezmann
  • VictorNino
  • RigoniLuismi
  • GutiMorente
  • DembéléTrincão
  • Busquets
  • 1st Half
  • Elche CF
  • FC Barcelona
  • de Jong

Elche CF - FC Barcelona

Follow the Liga live Football match between Elche CF and FC Barcelona with Eurosport. The match starts at 15:15 on 24 January 2021.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers: Francisco Escriba or Ronald Koeman? Find out by following our live matchcast.

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FULL TIME: Elche 0-2 Barcelona

Barcelona go third in La Liga with what turned out to be a comfortable victory. De Jong and Pedri stepped up to compensate for the lack of creativity due to Messi's suspension. The Catalans can be relatively pleased with their performance.

  • Riqui Puig
    GoalRiqui PuigFC BarcelonaGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Elche 0 Barcelona 2 (90 mins - Riqui Puig). The points are now in the bag for Barcelona as they score a second goal! De Jong burst to the byline and clipped a cross to the back post where Puig was on hand to head into the back of the net! He's only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds!
    TodayGoals1On target1

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Elche 0 Barcelona 2 (90 mins - Riqui Puig). The points are now in the bag for Barcelona as they score a second goal! De Jong burst to the byline and clipped a cross to the back post where Puig was on hand to head into the back of the net! He's only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds!

  • Riqui Puig
    OffPedriFC BarcelonaHere comes Puig! The young midfielder will only get a few minutes to make an impression.
    TodayBlocked Shots1Fouls against2Wide1Corners1
  • Riqui Puig
    OnRiqui PuigFC Barcelona

Here comes Puig! The young midfielder will only get a few minutes to make an impression.


Another great save by Badia! Griezmann breaks to the byline and clips a cross into the middle, Trincao gets up highest to power a header down into the ground, but the keeper saves!

  • Antoine Griezmann
    Yellow cardAntoine GriezmannFC BarcelonaGriezmann picks up a booing for late tackle as Elche break.
    TodayOn target1Yellow Cards1Fouls2Wide2

Griezmann picks up a booing for late tackle as Elche break.


While Busquets faced some questions earlier in the season, he has found a rich vein of form again. Busquets is still so important to Barcelona and this has been another good performance.


Big save by Badia! The Elche goalkeeper keeps his team in the game for the time being with a diving save to prevent Trincao from finding the far corner of the net with a curling effort.

  • Nino
    OffVictorElche CFHere comes the veteran, Nino. Can he make the difference for Elche?
    TodayFouls2Free Kicks1
  • Nino
    OnNinoElche CF

Here comes the veteran, Nino. Can he make the difference for Elche?


Of course, the January transfer window is open, but after some speculation over the addition of a new centre back it doesn’t seem likely that Barcelona will be doing much business.


Trincao needs a good performance. The summer signing is still looking for his first Barcelona goal and some fans and pundits are starting to question whether he's good enough.


As referenced earlier, Pedri has been one of the success stories of Barcelona’s season. He has become one of Koeman’s most key figures. What a talent the teenager is. Destined for the very top. Another good performance.

  • Luismi
    OffEmiliano RigoniElche CF... and Luismi is also on to try and change the game for the hosts.
  • Luismi
    OnLuismiElche CF

... and Luismi is also on to try and change the game for the hosts.

  • Tete Morente
    OffRaúl GutiElche CFA double change from Elche. Morente comes on for the final 10 minutes...
    TodayFouls against1Wide1Free Kicks1
  • Tete Morente
    OnTete MorenteElche CF

A double change from Elche. Morente comes on for the final 10 minutes...

  • Francisco Trincão
    OffOusmane DembéléFC BarcelonaKoeman makes his first change of the match and Trincao is on for Dembele.
    TodayOn target1Blocked Shots1Fouls against1Free Kicks3
  • Francisco Trincão
    OnFrancisco TrincãoFC Barcelona

Koeman makes his first change of the match and Trincao is on for Dembele.


Penalty claim! Pedri keeps going and going and going and plays a cross into the box. He feels there was a handball, but the officials wave away the claims for a penalty kick.


Dembele has been given a run in the Barcelona team following the injury to Ansu earlier in the season. The Frenchman has turned in a number of good performances, but remains inconsistent.


There's less than 20 minutes left on the clock and not one sub has been made by either side. What are Elche waiting for? Are they going to have a go here? Barcelona look vulnerable!


That booking for Busquets means he will miss Barcelona's next Liga game against Athletic Club, who beat the Catalans only one week ago. That's not good news for Koeman.

  • Sergio Busquets
    Yellow cardSergio BusquetsFC BarcelonaBusquets is shown the first yellow card of the match for a cynical foul.
    TodayOn target1Yellow Cards1Fouls5Fouls against1

Busquets is shown the first yellow card of the match for a cynical foul.


It should be noted that Pique is still sidelined through injury for Barcelona. It’s not yet known when the veteran central defender will be back for the Catalans. They have missed him.


Badia saves! Pedri drives into space and gets the shot away from 20 yards out. His shot picks up a deflection and spins into the hands of Badia. The playmaker is trying to get going.


Barcelona have tightened up since that Elche chance. They don't want to be caught out like that again and so there is some nerves in their play at the moment.


Ter Stegen is one of the best goalkeepers in the world when it comes to one-on-one situations and he proved that with the save from Rigoni to keep Barcelona ahead here.


Alongside Umtiti is Araujo. He has been one of the rare success stories of Barcelona’s season. Indeed, he has been solid in the absence of Pique in recent weeks. An automatic starter now.


This is an opportunity for Umtiti to stake a claim for a more regular starting place. Injuries have really hindered the Frenchman in recent seasons, but he is fit again and starts this afternoon. He's done okay.


To be fair to Mingueza, the pass from Untiti put him under intense pressure. Nonetheless, the young Barcelona defender should have done better to control it.


Elche have certainly upped their game since the half time interval. They are still seeing less of the ball, but the hosts are showing more ambition in breaking out from the back.


All of a sudden, this is an end-to-end encounter. It was a mistake from Mingueza that gave Rigoni the chance to run clean through on goal. Ter Stegen came to Barca's rescue.


Badia saves from Dembele! Pedri threaded the pass into Dembele, he shifted the ball on to his left foot and got the powerful effort away, but the Elche goalkeeper makes the diving save!


Ter Stegen rescues Barca! The chance came out of nowhere, Rigoni was clean through on goal, he had time to pick his spot, but ter Stegen makes the crucial save to keep Barcelona ahead!


Shot dragged wide! Space opened up for Guti as he drove into the Barcelona half, but he shoots wide of the target after the ball falls back into his path. That was better from Elche!


It’s probably too late for Barcelona to make a charge for the title, but they can still finish their campaign on a high and build towards next season when much more will be expected of them.


Indeed, while Barcelona have spent much of the season so far scraping around in the top half, their recent run of form put them as high as third in the Liga table. Can they get there again today?


There have been some signs of encouragement for Barcelona in recent weeks. Their form had picked up before the defeat to Athletic Club in the final of the Spanish Supercopa.


Will there be any sort of response from Elche in this second half? They have competed well, but have struggled to keep the ball up the pitch. They have created very little.

  • 2nd Half

The second half is under way! Barcelona have a 1-0 lead over Elche in this La Liga fixture!


HALF TIME: Elche 0-1 Barcelona. De Jong's goal is the difference between the two sides at the break. Barca have been in control, although they have been lacking in creativity.


Replays show that de Jong might well have provided the finish before the ball off Gonzalez crossed the Elche line. The Dutch midfielder might have added to his goal tally!


Barcelona have been lacking creativity this afternoon, but the cross from Braithwaite that led to the goal was a real moment of quality. Brilliant delivery by the Danish forward.


Barcelona now have the goal that their general dominance warrants, although they have scored with pretty much their first real opportunity. Elche had been keeping it tight.


GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Elche 0 Barcelona 1 (40 mins - Diego Gonzalez OG). Barcelona have taken the lead just four minutes before the break! Braithwaite played a dangerous cross to the back post, Griezmann looked set to finish it, but Gonzalez diverted the ball into the back of his own net!


Koeman will be relatively pleased with the control his Barcelona team have had in this first half, but he will surely want his players to be bolder in the attacking third of the pitch.


PEDRI... well wide! A Griezmann freekick into the Elche penalty box breaks to Pedri 20 yards out, but the Barcelona playmaker slices his shot well wide of the target. He might have done better.


PICTURE: de Jong has been in good form

FC Elche gegen den FC Barcelona

Badia makes the save! Busquets was set up for the shot on the edge of the opposition box, but the Barcelona midfielder's effort was tame and the Elche goalkeeper makes the stop.


The postponement of the election won’t help Messi make a decision on his future. He, of course, is out of contract at the end of the season and is believed to be considering leaving Barca.


Of course, the spectre of the presidential election continues to loom over Barcelona right now. Today was the day it was meant to take place but it has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Not a great deal happening... more as we have it


There has been a dearth of good goalscoring opportunities in this first half so far. Barcelona look the more threatening of the two teams at the moment, but still toothless.


Of course, it's not so long ago that Elche took a point off Real Madrid in a 0-0 draw. So they are capable of competing against the biggest and the best teams in La Liga.


One Barcelona player who has been in good form of late is de Jong. The Dutchman has struggled to find his place in the team, but Koeman has used him in a more advanced role to great effect.


PICTURE: Barcelona on top

Elche. Barcelona

The pressure is building on Elche. They are having to do a lot of defending at the moment. Barcelona win a corner kick, but play it short. Alba has a shot flash wide.


Barcelona have now taken a grip of this game. They are dominating possession and have Elche pegged back inside their own half. The Catalans are looking to break them open.


Mingueza crosses! The young defender gets to the byline and plays a dangerous cross into the middle, but Elche defend it well. Mingueza is trying to provide Barca an outlet.


Header over! A wonderful backheel touch from Boye saw Elche get into the Barcelona penalty area. The cross was finally made, but Garcia could only glance over the crossbar.


Griezmann shoots over! First, the French forward clips a cross into the middle from the byline. There were no takers, but the ball comes back to him and he fires over the bar himself.


A Copa del Rey victory would at least prove Barcelona are heading in the right direction under Koeman, but today is all about La Liga and making sure they finish in the top four places.


However, Barcelona can be relieved they didn’t suffer a fate like Real Madrid who crashed out of the Copa del Rey to lower league opposition during the week. Barca managed to squeeze through.


Barcelona were pretty poor against Cornella in the Copa del Rey during the week. Koeman made a number of changes for that game. The Catalans needed extra time to squeeze through.


Alba plays a cross into the middle, Araujo was up from the back to add some aerial presence, but Badia did well to keep his eye on the ball and make the catch under pressure.


In contrast to what we have seen from Elche in the opening 15 minutes of this match, Barcelona are being very ponderous in their play. Not much tempo to their game so far.


Rigoni has a chance to drive at the Barcelona defence, he plays the pass to Mojica on the overlap and his cross into the middle was a dangerous one, but there were no takers.


PICTURE: No early breakthrough

Elche. Barcelona

Elche are still looking pretty confident in the way they are moving the ball around. They have started well, although neither side has managed to create a real scoring opportunity.


Chance for Araujo! The Barcelona central defender was up from the back for the corner kick, but he lost the flight of the ball and could only head over the crossbar. That was an opportunity!


With Messi missing the onus will largely be on Griezmann to make things happen for Barcelona in the final third of the pitch. The Frenchman has actually been in very good form recently.


Before that red card Messi had actually been in good form. There were signs that he was starting to enjoy his football again. Then he missed a game through injury and was sent off in the next.


Barcelona are without Messi for this afternoon’s match. The Argentine is serving the second of a two-match suspension he picked up for being sent off in the Spanish Supercopa defeat to Athletic Club.


Indeed, Almiron will be pleased with how his team have started this match. There's obviously a long, long way to go, but Elche don't look to be playing with any fear.


Elche have made a decent start to the match. They are the ones on the front foot in the opening exchanges. However, there's an offside flag up. Sloppy start by Barcelona.


What sort of game will we get this afternoon? Elche are in white while Barcelona are in their all-black change kit. A chilly, but pleasant day in Alicante. Great football weather.


The match is under way! It's Elche against Barcelona in this La Liga fixture in Alicante!


Okay, here we go. We are about to get under way. Kick off is just moments away.


Elche have actually gone 12 games without a win and have picked up just seven points in that time.


Not long until kick off. Elche could certainly use the points today. They are currently second bottom of La Liga!


I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter to let me know your thoughts. Is there any way that Elche can cause an upset against Barcelona? How badly will Barca miss Messi? Tweet me - @grahamruthven!


Barcelona only just squeezed past third tier Cornella in the Copa del Rey during the week. The Catalans will need to be in much better form to get the better of Elche today.


There's no Messi for Barcelona this afternoon as he serves the second of a two-match suspension. How will the Catalans cope without their top scorer and main man here?


TEAM NEWS: Elche - Badia, Barragan, Verdu, D. Gonzalez, Mojica, Josan, Marcone, R. Guti, Rodriguez, Boye, Rigoni. /// Barcelona - Ter Stegen, Mingueza, Araujo, Umtiti, Alba, De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Dembele, Griezmann, Braithwaite.


Good afternoon and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Elche and Barcelona. We'll bring you all the action as it happens. Kick off is at 15:15 GMT.