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Barcelona v Elche Live Commentary, 17/09/2022

3 - 0
R. Lewandowski (34)
M. Depay (41)
R. Lewandowski (48)
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That's all for today, goodbye!
Barcelona move to the top of the LaLiga standings, with Real Madrid playing on Sunday, while Elche remain in 20th. Xavi's side will travel to Mallorca for their next game after the international break while Elche face Rayo Vallecano on the 3rd of October.
Elche were down to 10-men in the 14th minute as Verdu received a red card after he took down Lewandowski to stop a clear goal-scoring opportunity. It took Barcelona 34 minutes to break the deadlock after Lewandowski finished a cross from Balde. Depay quickly made it 2-0 soon as he used his body and strength to hold off the defender, before turning and scoring with his weaker foot. Pedri thought he made it 3-0 when scoring a rebound from Lewandowski's shot, but he was in an offside position and VAR ruled the goal out. Lewandowski then scored his eighth league goal of the season from close range to make it 3-0 quickly after the restart. Depay, Araujo, and Raphinha all had good chances to score but couldn't find their way past Badia in goal.
90' + 1' Elche finally register their first attempt in the game as Clerc heads Mercau's cross from the left-wing into the hands of Ter Stegen.
90' There will be a minimum of three additional minutes
88' Barcelona are playing the ball around the Elche box as they wait for an opening to target. They are playing risk-free football to try and maintain their clean sheet.
86' The Barcelona fans in the crowd are bouncing up and down as their side see out the game on the pitch.
84' Elche are trying to find their way up the pitch but cannot hold onto the ball when they regain possession.
82' Pedri and Torres combine to create a scoring chance for the striker. He shoots low at the goal but Badia saves well with his feet.
80' HUGE MISS! Araujo misses an unbelievable chance to score after he is left wide open in the six-yard box. He attempts a scissor kick and shoots wide of the target!
79' Barcelona are trying to increase the tempo of the game as they look for a fourth goal. Fati does his best to beat Donald one-on-one, but the defender is too strong for him.
Diego González
78' Bigas cannot carry on as he holds his groin and Gonzalez replaces him for the final 15 minutes.
77' Elche have had more players sent off in 2022 (six in 26 games) than they had in 2020 and 2021 combined (four in 56 games).
75' CLOSE! Raphinha comes close to scoring following Fati's cross, but the ball is just out of his reach.
Ferran Torres
Yellow Card
73' Torres goes into the referee's book after a poor sliding challenge on Bigas.
Ferran Torres
R. Lewandowski
72' Torres replaces goalscorer Lewandowski to lead the Barcelona frontline.
N. Fernández Mercau
Yellow Card
70' Mercau receives a yellow card after a harsh challenge on Bellerin.
70' Raphinha tries to link up with Lewandowski and De Jong to get in behind the Elche defence, but they play too fast for their own good and lose possession.
E. Ponce
Tete Morente
68' Ponce replaces Morente in the Elche midfield.
L. Boyé
68' Josan replaces Boye as the lone striker in the Elche attack.
66' Fati tries to score an acrobatic volley as Bellerin's cross was slightly behind him, but Bigas blocks his shot well.
64' Barcelona are being patient when progressing forward. Elche are sitting very deep and trying to force long shots from the hosts.
62' SAVE! Lewandowski fires a dangerous shot towards goal after Raphinha picks him out, Badia makes a great save between the sticks.
O. Dembélé
60' Raphinha replaces Dembele on the right side of the front three.
Héctor Bellerín
Eric García
59' Bellerin replaces Garcia in defence as Kounde now moves into the centre of the defence.
Ansu Fati
M. Depay
59' Fati replaces Depay on the left-wing to add more energy to the Barcelona attack.
57' HUGE CHANCE! Depay misses out on a massive opportunity to make it 4-0 as his open header is very wide of the target following a great cross from Dembele.
55' Francisco Rodríguez has lost five of his six LaLiga games as a manager against Barcelona (W0 D1), his highest number of defeats to the same opponent in the competition along with Athletic (also W0 D1 L5).
Domingos Quina
53' Quina replaces Fidel on the left side of the midfield.
N. Fernández Mercau
Raúl Guti
53' Mercau replaces Guti and Elche look to freshen up the midfield.
52' Barcelona break forward and Dembele drives down the right-hand side. He plays the ball to Depay on the edge of the box, but Depay's effort hits the defender in front of him.
50' Barcelona are dominating the ball in this second half and continuing to cause Elche problems in the box.
R. Lewandowski
48' GOALLL!!!! 3-0 LEWANDOWSKI! Lewandowski gets his second goal of the game with an easy finish to the far post. The ball is loose after a cross from Dembele and Depay finds his striker with a clever pass.
46' Elche get the second half underway!
F. Kessie
46' Gavi replaces Kessie in the midfield after the Ivorian was booked early in the game.
It will be likely that Elche opt for damage control rather than seek a comeback in the second half. They will need to stop Dembele and Balde on the wings as they are creating most of the opportunities for Barcelona.
Elche were down to 10-men in the 14th minute as Verdu received a red card after he took down Lewandowski to stop a clear goal-scoring opportunity. It took Barcelona 34 minutes to break the deadlock after Lewandowski finished a cross from Balde. Depay quickly made it 2-0 soon as he used his body and strength to hold off the defender, before turning and scoring with his weaker foot. Pedri thought he made it 3-0 when scoring a rebound from Lewandowski's shot, but he was in an offside position and VAR ruled the goal out.
45' + 5' Kessie has the chance to make it 3-0 from a quick Barcelona counter-attack. Dembele chooses to pass rather than shoot, but Kessie's effort is wide of the post.
45' + 4' Elche are sitting very deep in their half as they look to see the first period out without conceding any more goals.
45' + 2' Barcelona win a free-kick after Boye catches De Jong with his elbow. Tempers are starting to flare in this game.
45' There will be a minimum of five added minutes.
44' GOAL DISALLOWED! Pedri reacts quickest to the rebound following a mishit shot from Lewandowski, but he was in an offside position.
Alejandro Balde
41' Balde picks up his second assist of the game! Rather than cross the ball, he chooses to ball it directly into the feet of Depay, and the Dutchman makes no mistake with the finish.
M. Depay
41' GOALLL!!!!!! 2-0 DEPAY! Depay doubles Barcelona’s lead with a brilliant finish past Badia. Balde passes to Depay, who has his back to the defender. He quickly turns his body away from his man and finishes high into the goal with his left foot.
38' Dembele uses his pace effectively to keep the ball in play and a slightly overhit pass from Garcia. He plays the ball back to Kounde but Barcelona lose the ball soon after as De Jong's pass is too weak.
36' Depay tries to drive at Palacios before finding a team-mate in the box but loses the ball when attempting stepovers to trick the defender.
Alejandro Balde
34' Dembele finds Pedri on the edge of the box, and plays a great through ball to Balde on the left side of the penalty area. The left-back slides the ball across the six-yard for Lewandowski to tap home.
R. Lewandowski
34' GOAL!!!!! 1-0 LEWANDOWSKI! Lewandowski breaks the deadlock for Barcelona as he finishes home a cross from Balde. Depay almost scores the chance himself but misses the ball, but the Polish striker is there to rescue the chance.
32' A wayward cross finds it way to Dembele, who lays the ball off to Kounde. The defender goes for a spectacular volley but gets it horribly wrong.
30' Donald is back on his feet as the referee resumes play.
29' Donald is receiving treatment on the pitch after catching a stray elbow from Kessie.
Yellow Card
28' Bigas receives a yellow card after complaining too much following a foul on his team-mate.
28' Elche players are unhappy with the referee after Kessie commits a foul on Donald, but is not shown a second yellow card.
26' CHANCE! Lewandowski has a great chance to score after Dembele sends a dangerous cross to the back post, but his effort is just wide of the post.
24' CLOSE! Depay comes close to opening the scoring after some good work in the box. Pedri plays him into a good position and Depay then turns away from his defender before unleashing a shot to the near post. Badia reads the play and saves the shot well.
22' Elche work a quick attack which leads to Fidel having the ball on the left-wing. He tries to find Boye in the box with a cross but puts too much power on the pass and gives away a throw-in on the far side.
20' Depay takes a short corner to Dembele who then drives into the box. He tries to catch Badia out at the near post but drags his shot into the side-netting.
18' Following the sending off of Verdu, it seems like Donald is now playing alongside Bigas in the centre of defence and Elche are playing a 4-4-1 formation.
16' Depay tries to dink the ball into the path of Lewandowski from the free-kick, but Badia comes out and catches the ball well.
Gonzalo Verdú
Red Card
14' RED CARD! Verdu is sent off for Elche as the captain takes down Lewandowski to deny to clear goal-scoring opportunity. Easy decision for the referee.
12' Depay and Lewandowski try to work a give-and-go move to create a scoring opportunity, but Lewandowski's return pass is overhit and goes out for a goal-kick.
10' Barcelona are trying to stretch the pitch out as much as they can to try and break down the low block of Elche. Araujo tries to find Balde with a long ball in behind, but the full-back is offside.
8' Boye is back on the pitch after the physios treat his nose injury.
7' Boye is currently off the pitch receiving treatment as the game continues. Barcelona are trying to make the extra man on the pitch count.
F. Kessie
Yellow Card
5' Kessie receives an early yellow card after he catches Boye with his elbow during an aerial battle.
4' Palacios gets an early warning from the referee as he is too physical in a challenge with Depay on the left-wing.
2' It does not take long for Barcelona to pin Elche in their own half and become comfortable on the ball early on.
1' Lewandowski gets the game underway!
The players are making their way out of the tunnel and onto the pitch!
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 19 LaLiga matches against Elche (W15 D4), since a 0-1 defeat in December 1974, and they are on their longest consecutive winning streak against the Elche side in the competition (6).
Xavi makes five changes to the side that lost to Bayern as Garcia, Balde, De Jong, Kessie, and Depay all come into the starting lineup. Francisco Rodriguez makes seven changes to his starting 11 as Badia, Bigas, Gumbau, and Boye keep their place in the team.
SUBS: Diego Gonzalez, Federico Fernandez, Ezequiel Ponce, Domingos Quina, Roger Marti, Javier Pastore, Alex Collado, Josan, Axel Werner, Jesus Lopez, Enzo Roco, Nicolas Fernandez.
Elche (4-3-3): Edgar Badia; Helibelton Palacios, Gonzalo Verdu, Pedro Bigas, Carlos Clerc; Raul Guti, John Donald, Gerard Gumbau; Tete Morente, Lucas Boye, Fidel.
SUBS: Marcos Alonso, Hector Bellerin, Gavi, Andreas Christensen, Inaki Pena, Raphinha, Ferran Torres, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Arnau Tenas, Ansu Fati.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Alejandro Balde; Franck Kessie, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Memphis Depay.
Elche sit at the bottom of the league table going into this game. They are winless in their opening five league games, drawing one of their games and losing the other four. They have the second worst defensive record in the league, conceding 13 goals in their five games.
Barcelona have won their last four league games, scoring 15 goals in the process and only conceding once. Robert Lewandowski is currently the top scorer in the league with six goals and has also assisted his teammates twice. Xavi’s side did however lose 2-0 to Bayern in the Champions League in their last game.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the LaLiga clash between Barcelona and Elche.