FC Barcelona

Elche 1-2 Barcelona: Player ratings as late Depay penalty seals comeback win

Max Parsons
Memphis Depay was the hero
Memphis Depay was the hero / Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages
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Barcelona battled back from a 1-0 deficit to earn a 2-1 victory at Elche on Sunday afternoon, as their blistering form under Xavi Hernandez continued.

Their fruitful trip down Spain's Mediterranean coast represents their seventh La Liga win in ten outings, although they remain 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

The visitors were good value for the victory, having imposed themselves on proceedings from the referee's first whistle, but did it the hard way. Trailing 1-0 at the break courtesy of Fidel's opener, it took second-half goals from substitutes Ferran's Torres and Memphis Depay to secure victory.

La Blaugrana enjoyed the lion's share of possession and threatened to make their control count on several occasions in the opening period - with a wasteful Frenkie de Jong notably passing up the opportunity to put the ball into an almost empty net before squandering a one-on-one situation minutes after - although found themselves 1-0 down on the stroke of half time.

Against the run of play, Pedri's sloppy touch played in Fidel, who did brilliantly to race past Dani Alves and clinically slot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen before wheeling away to celebrate in front of a delirious home crowd.

Barcelona continued to dominate the ball and create opportunities following the resumption of play, and eventually grabbed a deserved equaliser on the hour mark. It came from the ever-threatening Ousmane Dembele, whose cross was tapped towards goal by Jordi Alba before half-time substitute Torres poked past Badia for his first La Liga strike for the club.

The game subsequently suffered a lull but, after both goalkeepers were forced into fantastic saves at either end of the pitch, excitement picked up with a VAR review ten minutes from time. The away contingent were the happier of the fans following the review, as Alejandro Hernandez awarded Barca a penalty having picked up on a handball from Antonio Barragan.

Depay stepped up to take the spot kick in the 84th minute and made no mistake, absolutely thrashing the ball into the top corner.

The hosts did their best to apply the pressure in search of a dramatic equaliser but weren't able to find one in the few remaining minutes, giving Barcelona a fourth consecutive win across all competitions.


Barcelona player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba got the assist for Barcelona's first / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - 7/10 - Didn't have too much hope of keeping out the opener, but kept the score at 1-1 with a brilliant save in the second half.

Dani Alves (RB) - 6/10 - Visibly struggled with the physical aspect of the game at times, not coping all that well at the back, but looked good when venturing into more advanced areas, managing two key passes.

Ronald Araujo (CB) - 7/10 - Played out from the back brilliantly on occasion and put himself about defensively, making three tackles.

Gerard Pique (CB) - 7/10 - Invariably alert to Elche's desire to break, effectively acting as a brick wall to the large majority of things that came his way.

Jordi Alba (LB) - 7/10 - Remained firm and covered well on the back foot and, despite being unusually quiet going forward, can claim the assist for Torres' goal.

2. Midfielders

Pedro Gonzalez Lopez "Pedri"
A mixed game for Pedri / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets (DM) - 7/10 - Typically intelligent when alleviating any pressure or danger, and characteristically effective when spreading play.

Pedri (CM) - 6/10 -
It was his mistake that led to the opening goal but the teenager was otherwise brilliant, knitting moves together sharply, cleverly and creatively upfield. A bitter-sweet performance.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - 2/10 - Really should have scored in the first half, passing up two simple chances, and didn't redeem himself before being taken off with 20 minutes remaining.

3. Forwards

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele was threatening throughout / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Ousmane Dembele (RW) - 7/10 - One of his side's liveliest players, continuously being sought out by colleagues and giving his opposition a torrid time. His quality showed as he created the equaliser from the right.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - 5/10 - A real bright spark with his movement and link-up play, but wasn't penetrating enough where it mattered most.

Gavi (LW) - N/A - Utterly absent and contributed practically nothing before being deservedly hooked at the break.

4. Substitutes

Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres pokes home to make it 1-1 / Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

Ferran Torres (LW) - 7/10 - An immediate danger with an injection of directness and intensity in the final third, and deserved his equalising strike. Was still wasteful in front of goal, but generally made a massive difference.

Nico Gonzalez (CM) - 6/10 - Provided a bit more physicality in midfield.

Memphis Depay (ST) - 7/10 - Won and converted the crucial penalty.

Adama Traore (RW) - 6/10 - Important for his side in maintaining pressure and seeing out the game safely, although couldn't produce anything tangible.

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