Barça 3-2 Elche: Victory for the future

Barça 3-2 Elche: Victory for the future

Goals from youngsters Ferran Jutglà, Gavi and Nico Gonzàlez secure the three points despite an unexpected fightback from the visitors

All three points were claimed in a thoroughly entertaining clash with Elche that was very much about the coming-of-age of the next generation of Barça stars.

Two early goals, both from first-time goalscorers for the team, put the Catalans into a convincing early lead. With such daring, attractive and confident football, and total dominance of their rival, this extraordinarily youthful Barça team looked to have the win secure well before the half-time break.

But then came two Elche goals in little more than a minute. A total shock.

Barça had to dig deep to find something in a nerve-racking last 25 minutes and finally found it from the boot of Nico in the 85th minute.

Double goalscoring debut

Such a close finish came as a huge surprise considering the emphatic way that Barça had started the match.

After coming on as a substitute against Osasuna and scoring Barça’s only goal in the midweek friendly with Boca Juniors, Ferran Jutglà capped an incredible week by not only getting his first official start, but also his first goal.

The 22-year-old had already put the ball in the net less than two minutes into the game but was caught fractionally offside. But there was absolutely nothing wrong with his header off a corner on the quarter hour.  Barça were on top and a star was born.

Elche were at sixes and sevens and the blaugrana shirts were all over them, and within moments we had another first-time goalscorer.

Gavi collected the ball on the turn, weaved his way into space and fired in off the post to make it 2-0, in doing so becoming the third youngest Barça goalscorer of all time. Only Ansu Fati and Bojan Krkić were younger when they netted their maiden goals.

Of course, this was just a week after the game at Osasuna, where Nico and Ez Abde had scored for the first time.

Elche double-strike

It was scrumptious football from Barça, while other than a horrible miss from Enzo Roco, Elche had looked totally outclassed. The only real question seemed to be how many goals Barça were going to win this one by....

...and then Elche stunned the Camp Nou twice in quick succession.

Tete Morente was given far too much space down the right although his powerful finish was something exceptional. It was the first time in thirteen competitive encounters games that Elche had scored versus Barça.

And just a minute later the same player whipped a cross across the Barça goal and substitute Pere Milla headed in.

Nobody saw that coming. A game that Barça had been coasting was suddenly back to all square.

Nico to the rescue

The unexpected turnaround in affairs meant Elche, almost resigned to the evitable after conceding two early goals, were suddenly playing with new verve. And Barça were finding it harder and harder to create chances...

But with just five minutes left on the clock, Nico coolly blasted in after a superb build-up to finally get Barça back in front.

There was a nervous wait after VAR checked to see if Ez Abde, who had provided the assist, was onside when he received from Ousmane Dembélé… The ref gave the all-clear and the Camp Nou erupted!

Juse the originally postpone game with Sevilla remains in 2021, and then Barça will be taking a festive break - with their league position looking a lot healthier with the three points so brilliantly earned today.

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