Spanish La Liga

Elche 0-6 Barcelona

By Dominic RaynorBBC Sport
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi scored his 20th and 21st league goals of the season

Neymar and Lionel Messi both scored twice as Barcelona beat Elche to keep pace with La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

Gerard Pique opened the scoring with the visitors' only shot on target in a tight first half before Messi scored from the spot after the break.

Elche were reduced to 10 men when Faycal Fajr was sent off and Neymar scored a quick brace before Messi rifled in to complete his own double.

Pedro netted the sixth late on in a win that keeps Barca one point behind Real.

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique made six changes to the side that beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the Copa del Rey in midweek and benched Luis Suarez on his birthday, despite recently backing the £75m striker to rediscover his best goalscoring form.

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique opened the scoring on his 200th La liga appearance

Suarez, who netted 32 Premier League goals for Liverpool last season, has scored just five times in 17 games since his summer move to Spain and was replaced in the starting XI by Pedro on the right of an attacking triumvirate with Messi and Neymar.

Amid all the changes it was Elche who started quickly, with Jonathas and Fajr both going close to giving the hosts the lead at the Martinez Valero stadium before Barca defender Pique popped up at the far post to fire home from Xavi Hernandez's free-kick.

Barca had put 12 past Fran Escriba's side over three previous meetings this season and when Fajr was sent off moments after Messi had converted from the spot in the second half, following a foul on Neymar, this contest was all but over.

Brazilian Neymar twice latched on to through-balls from Messi to slot past goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton on 69 and 71 minutes and then his Argentine strike partner shimmied to wrong-foot a defender and add the fifth with two minutes left to play.

Neymar had the chance to secure a hat-trick late on but instead decided to square the ball for Pedro, who tapped home from a few yards out.

Barcelona have now won six consecutive games in all competitions and keep the pressure on their arch-rivals at the top the league.

Lionel Messi
Messi's penalty was his 30th goal in all competitions this season
Neymar took his league tally to 14 goals this season
Pedro started ahead of Luis Suarez against Elche



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Tyton
  • 2Suárez
  • 3Roco
  • 18PelegrínBooked at 35mins
  • 5CismaBooked at 20minsSubstituted forAlbácar Gallegoat 61'minutes
  • 8González MoralesSubstituted forRodríguez Lombánat 70'minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 24Pasalic
  • 17Rodríguez Romero
  • 20FajrBooked at 57mins
  • 7Ñíguez EsclapezBooked at 27minsSubstituted forCorominasat 82'minutes
  • 22Cristian de JesusBooked at 40mins


  • 1Herrera Yagüe
  • 4Rodríguez Lombán
  • 9Herrera
  • 10Corominas
  • 14Alonso Martín
  • 19Giménez Candela
  • 21Albácar Gallego


Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Bravo
  • 2Montoya
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Bartra
  • 18AlbaBooked at 66minsSubstituted forCorreiaat 70'minutes
  • 6HernándezSubstituted forRoberto Carnicerat 72'minutes
  • 14MascheranoBooked at 62minsSubstituted forBusquetsat 70'minutes
  • 12Rafinha
  • 7Pedro
  • 10Messi
  • 11Neymar


  • 1ter Stegen
  • 5Busquets
  • 8Iniesta
  • 9Suárez
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 21Correia
  • 22Alves da Silva
Carlos Clos Gómez

Match Stats

Home TeamElcheAway TeamBarcelona
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Elche 0, Barcelona 6.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Elche 0, Barcelona 6.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Elche 0, Barcelona 6. Pedro (Barcelona) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neymar following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Elche. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

  6. Post update

    Jonathas (Elche) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Elche. Edu Albácar tries a through ball, but Jonathas is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

  9. Post update

    Víctor Rodríguez (Elche) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Elche 0, Barcelona 5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marc Bartra.

  11. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  12. Post update

    Delay in match Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) because of an injury.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Jonathas (Elche) because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Edu Albácar.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Elche. Coro replaces Aarón.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  17. Booking

    Lombán (Elche) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Lombán (Elche).

  20. Post update

    Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 24th January 2015

As It Stood

1Real Madrid19160364164848
3Atl Madrid20142440192144
10Rayo Vallecano2072112136-1523
11Real Sociedad205782024-422
12Celta Vigo195681821-321
13Ath Bilbao1954101525-1019
16Dep La Coruña1945101431-1717
View full Spanish La Liga table

Top Stories