Spanish La Liga
Elche0Barcelona6

Elche 0-6 Barcelona

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
Neymar took his league tally to 14 goals this season
Pedro
Pedro started ahead of Luis Suarez against Elche

Line-ups

Elche

  • 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

Substitutes

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

Barcelona

  • 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

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 5Busquets
  • 8Iniesta
  • 9Suárez
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 21Correia
  • 22Alves da Silva
Referee:
Carlos Clos Gómez
Attendance:
28,235

Match Stats

Home TeamElcheAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home28%
Away72%
Shots
Home6
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away8
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home18
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Elche 0, Barcelona 6.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Elche 0, Barcelona 6.

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.

Corner, Elche. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

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

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

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

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

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.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

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

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

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Edu Albácar.

Substitution

Substitution, Elche. Coro replaces Aarón.

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

Booking

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

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

Foul by Lombán (Elche).

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

Foul by Jonathas (Elche).

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Edu Albácar (Elche).

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

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

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Xavi.

Goal!

Goal! Elche 0, Barcelona 4. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergio Busquets replaces Jordi Alba.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Adriano replaces Javier Mascherano.

Substitution

Substitution, Elche. Lombán replaces Adrián.

Goal!

Goal! Elche 0, Barcelona 3. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a through ball.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Sergio Pelegrín.

Booking

Jordi Alba (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

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

Attempt missed. Jordi Alba (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Attempt missed. Mario Pasalic (Elche) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Víctor Rodríguez.

Booking

Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 24th January 2015

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid19160364164848
2Barcelona2015235494547
3Atl Madrid20142440192144
4Sevilla18123330171339
5Valencia19115335171838
6Villarreal20115433171638
7Malaga199462220231
8Eibar207672426-227
9Espanyol196582229-723
10Rayo Vallecano2072112136-1523
11Real Sociedad205782024-422
12Celta Vigo195681821-321
13Ath Bilbao1954101525-1019
14Córdoba203981630-1418
15Getafe1945101427-1317
16Dep La Coruña1945101431-1717
17Elche2045111841-2317
18Almería1944111730-1316
19Levante2037101335-2216
20Granada192891131-2014
View full Spanish La Liga table

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