With a 3-0 victory over struggling Elche in the 2020-21 La Liga, Barcelona returned to winning ways.
Once again, Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half, and he was the saviour for the Blaugrana; Martin Braithwaite also had a strong game, bagging two assists.
Both sides made an enterprising beginning to the game, but when Lucas Boye blazed his effort over the woodwork, the visitors would regret squandering an early chance.
Francisco Trincao missed a golden chance at the other end in the twentieth minute. Edgar Badia, who was going the wrong way but extended his other arm to palm away the shot, brilliantly denied him.
In particular, Barcelona failed to break into Elche’s box. The visitors were forced to wait for their first shot on goal until the 43rd minute, but Marc Andre Ter Stegen comfortably averted the risk.
Messi then provided the opener, just two minutes after the break, finding the back of the net. He joined up with Brathwaite beautifully to defeat Badia from close range.
The visitors replied almost immediately, but after a rare break, Boye messed up a first-time attempt. It was one-way traffic afterwards as Barcelona poured on the pressure.
After converting Frenkie de Jong’s throw, Messi bagged his second of the night. Five minutes later, by adding a third from close range, Jordi Alba put the outcome beyond doubt for Barcelona. Braithwaite was set up by Messi, who headed the ball across to an unmarked Alba.
Barcelona stayed third in the league standings after the victory, five points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, having played one more game.