De Jong steers Barca to Elche win without suspended Messi

26 Janvier, 2021, 20:51 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Barcelona meets Elche without Messi

Frenkie de Jong scored one goal and created another to send Barcelona third in La Liga with victory at Elche.

De Jong has been pushed forward more by Ronald Koeman in recent weeks and it has paid off with the Dutch global contributing two goals and an assist in January.

Barca would seal the points late on thanks to a goal from Riqui Puig, but Koeman was quick to highlight the contribution of his goalkeeper at what was a pivotal time in the game.

"The second goal was all down to our two midfielders and that's exactly what we want from them, to get into the area and to help out the forwards", Koeman told reporters after a fourth straight league win for his side.

After Sunday's win, Barcelona are now three points behind second-placed Real Madrid in the 2020-21 La Liga table, but leaders Atletico Madrid are seven points clear at the top.

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"I'm very happy with how we won [the game]".

Ronald Koeman's side were without their captain and talisman due to suspension but still took a first-half lead when Frenkie de Jong tapped home from less than a yard out after Diego Gonzalez's clearance fell to him kindly.

Elche extended their winless run to 13 games and stay in trouble in the relegation zone, two points from safety, though they do have two games in hand on 17th-place Osasuna.

Elche s big chance came just before the hour after Oscar Mingueza failed to control Samuel Umititi s awkward pass. Emiliano Rigoni went one-on-one with Marc-Andre ter Stegen but the goalkeeper saved with his right foot.

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