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Five key stats from Barcelona 3-0 Elche — Messi takes matters into his own hands

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

As Elche travelled to the Catalan capital, Barça were under pressure to grab three points from their encounter in the hope of keeping some fire alive this season. The draw against Cadiz on the weekend was disheartening and was visible in the first half of the Elche game. However, Lionel Messi took matters into his own hands in the second half, scoring a brace and helping Barcelona register a 2-0 win.

There were plenty of numbers that dictated Barcelona’s outing, and Barça Universal takes a look at them today.

Midfield

Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti started their first game together this season, and were able to keep a clean sheet against the Valencian outfit. However, there was very little the backline had to do, with Frenkie De Jong running the show ahead of them from the centre of the park.

Another player who deserves huge plaudits is Pedri. At the age of 18, he is holding his own in the Barcelona team, performing at levels way beyond his age game after game. The teenager was one of the best players on the night, again, doing bits in both attack and defence, while playing three different positions across 90 minutes.

Attack

The star of the show, yet again, was Leo Messi. Three minutes into the second half, the Argentine went on a one-man parade, skipping past the defence before playing a pass into Martin Braithwaite. The Dane made no mistake in playing it back to Messi with a sublime no-look back heel, and before you knew it, the scoreboard read 1-0. He added another one past Edgar Badia, moving two clear off Luis Suarez in the race for the Pichichi.

The second from the GOAT also helped him skip past Robert Lewandowski as the leading goalscorer in the calendar year 2021. Truly incomparable.

Speaking of GOATs, Martin Braithwaite also turned up for the Garnet and Blue in the second half, taking up lethal positions in the box to hurt Elche. His pass to Lionel Messi for the opener was absolutely brilliant, and he followed it up with a header lay-off for Jordi Alba to tuck in 3 yards off goal.

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