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Barcelona 3-0 Elche: Lionel Messi second half brace seal victory for the Catalans as hosts keep up the pressure on LaLiga leaders Atletico

Lionel Messi’s second-half brace delivers a morale-boosting win for Barcelona and takes his league tally to 18goals.

The first half was a stalemate affair with just four shots between the two sides, nevertheless, Trincao would have been disappointed not to open the scoring for the hosts

However, Barcelona improved significantly after the introduction of Dembele and took the lead in 48 minutes when Messi finished off a brilliant one-two with Braithwaite.

The iconic striker then doubled his account with a deft dink over Badia, following a brilliant run from De Jong.

Barcelona wasn’t finished there though, and Alba crowned a flowing team move to secure a 3-0 win that’ll ease the pressure on the manager, Ronald Koeman.

The victory took Barca back above Sevilla and into third in the standings on 50 points, five behind Atletico but having played a game more.

Sunday’s frustrating draw at home to Cadiz had interrupted a seven-game winning streak in the league and added to the pain of last week’s 4-1 routing at home to Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

This will help our confidence a lot,’ said Alba post the game.

‘The draw (with Cadiz) was a huge blow to the whole team and showed that if we are not at our 100% best we find it very hard to win. We struggled on Sunday and in the first half here too but we were better in the second and the goals arrived.’

The result means that Barcelona moves up to third, while Elche drop to 19th.

ajay
Sports freak at your door step

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