Barça narrowly missed another failure
Barcelona was close to another failure, but a goal by Nico Gonzalez five minutes before the end brought the Catalans a 3-2 victory against Elche at the Camp Nou. Xavi's team performed strongly in attack, but the problems in defense caused the match to become dramatic. Debuting debutant Ferran Jutgla opened the scoring in the 16th minute, and three minutes later Gavi scored his first goal for Barcelona.
Within a minute in the second half Elche equalized. Reserves Tete Morente (62 ') and Pere Mia (63') signed and shocked the Camp Nou. Barça still found the strength to attack again and in the 85th minute Gonzalez, who also came in as a reserve, managed to score the winning goal for the hosts.
The Catalans took a breath, but are seventh in the standings and are 15 points behind the leader Real Madrid. Elche, who scored his first goals against Barcelona in 43 years, is two points above the relegation zone.
The Catalans started at a high pace and in the third minute reached a goal, which, however, was not counted due to an ambush. Ferran Jutgla in the first match as a starter for Barça sent the ball into the net, but was behind the defense and had no reason to rejoice. The 22-year-old striker, who was recruited as a free agent by city rivals Espanyol in the summer, played for the B team for the first few months. Ferran made his debut for the first team a week ago when he entered at the end of the match against Osasuna.
In view of the team's problems with the many injured in the attack, Xavi decided to give him a chance and he did not disappoint. Jutgla scored his first goal for Barça in the 16th minute. He caught the ball with his head after a corner kick and found the result. Seconds later, Gavi struck a second blow to the guests. The midfielder easily overcame all the defense that missed him, and with a precise shot doubled the lead of the hosts. For the 17-year-old talent, this was the first goal with the Catalan team. He became the third youngest goal scorer for Barça in La Liga, ahead of Lionel Messi.
Gavi could have scored a very nice goal a few minutes after scoring, but his attempt to transfer the goalkeeper was unsuccessful and the ball went over the door. In the 24th minute Elche had a chance to return to the match. After a cross, Enzo Rocco was left uncovered in the penalty area in front of Ter Stegen. He stopped the ball, but made a huge mistake, shooting from a few meters above the door. Barça's answer was Dembele's pass to De Jong, who found himself in an excellent position but failed to hit the ball and strike.
Xavi's team easily overcame the opponent's defense and missed a few more advantageous situations before the break to increase their lead. Dembele created a lot of problems for the opponent. The Frenchman took out Jutgle, but he failed to take advantage. In another situation, Dembele shoots on the outside of the net from a good position. The best position was missed by Gavi a minute before the end of the first part. Abde broke from the left and found his teammate in a great position on the penalty spot, but his shot was blocked.
After the break, Barcelona continued to have a serious advantage, but also demonstrated its typical weaknesses in defense. At the beginning of the second half, Jordi Alba tried to return the ball to Ter Stegen, but brought out Lucas Perez. However, Elche's attacker did not take advantage and shot past the door. The guard of the guests Edgar Badia managed to hit Jutgla.
As the Catalans had a solid lead, within a minute everything changed and Barça was in shock. In the 62nd minute, Tete Morente, who appeared in the game at the break, returned Elche to the match. With a good counterattack, the defense of the hosts failed. Morente received the ball from Lucas Boy, entered the penalty area past Langle and hit the ball into the net. This was Elche's first goal against Barça in 43 years. Seconds later, Morente broke to the right and centered perfectly to the uncovered Pere Mia, who also came in as a reserve. Mia made a nice header and although Ter Stegen touched the ball he failed to prevent a second goal.
After the startle, Xavi's team went on the attack again and could quickly regain the lead, but Jutgla made a big mistake. In the 75th minute, the Catalans again missed a goal. Abde was in excellent position in the penalty area. He went around the goalkeeper, and the ball reached Nico Gonzalez, who had just entered, who shot, but Palisios was on goal and killed the ball. Nico had another chance to strike, and Badia intervened.
Salvation for Barça came five minutes before the end. Gavi doubled with Dembele and found himself behind the opponent's defense. He advanced and found Nico Gonzalez, who had time to stop the ball and hit it into the net. Elche's players claimed an ambush when Dembele passed to Gavi. After checking the situation with VAR, the hit was counted.