Barcelona 3-2 Elche: Nico Gonzalez strikes late and Gavi scores wondergoal to grab win for Xavi’s side… who threw away a two-goal lead in just TWO minutes against relegation threatened opponents
- Barcelona cruised into a 2-0 lead after just 18 minutes at the Nou Camp
- Ferran Jutlga opened the scoring before Gavi fired home an incredible goal
- Elche though stunned home fans with a two-minute double just after the hour
- However, Nico Gonzalez came off the bench to seal winner with five minutes left
Pedri showed his Golden Boy trophy off at the Camp Nou and then Barcelona’s other golden boys took over as Xavi’s young team gave their coach his third win in his seven games in charge so far.
Substitute Nico got the winner with five minutes left of normal time to give Barcelona their 3-2 win.
Gavi set-up the goal and was Barcelona’s best player in a win that showed once more that the only way of the mess they find themselves in is for Barcelona to trust their youngest players.
Nico Gonzalez (centre) celebrates his winning goal for Barcelona in their 3-2 win over Elche
Gonzalez came off the bench to grab the winning goal at the Nou Camp with five minutes left
With 19-year-old Pedri still out injured it was left to 17-year-old Gavi to lead the way on the pitch he broke away to score a brilliant first goal for the club
He was on the edge of the centre circle when he spun away from his marker. He then drove with the ball to the edge of the area drifting past Enzo Roco before lashing the ball past Edgar Badia off the post.
He became the fourth player born after 2000 to score for Barcelona in La Liga. Ansu Fati, Nico and Abde had both done it before – no team in Spain has as many youngster finding the net.
That made it 2-0. Barcelona’s first goal had came from another young talent scoring his first for the club. Ferran Jutgla had been picked to start ahead of Luuk de Jong who Xavi wants moved on in the winter window. The 22-year-old is a former Espanyol youth teamer who was signed in the summer to score goals for the B team.
Ferran Jutgla had fired Barcelona into a first half lead as he pokes home the opening goal
The 22-year-old celebrates opening the scoring after just 15 minutes at the Nou Camp
He rose to head home a corner three minutes before Gavi’s masterpiece and Elche just had no answer to Barcelona next generation. The 19-year-old winger Abde was opening up the pitch on the left and with Ousmane Dembele doing the same on the right Barcelona were tormenting Elche.
Jordi Alba was pouring forward from left back but into clever central areas and even Frenkie De Jong was enjoying himself with one superb pirouette control stunning the Camp Nou.
For all the magic going forward Barcelona were still allowing Elche to have chances. Lucas Boye was allowed a free-header which he could not turn past Marc Andre ter Stegen and Lucas Perez was then gifted a chance by Jordi Alba. The left-back’s header to Ter Stegen dropped short and the Elche forward stole in but pulled his shot and Ter Stegen saved.
On 62 minutes Elche did have a foothold back in the game. With Barcelona’s 3-4-3 cruelly exposed. Boye went down the left just keeping the ball in play. He then crossed for Tete Morente to convert at the back post.
Three minutes later the Nou Camp erupted again after Gavi’s wonderstrike
The 17-year-old kisses the Barca badge to celebrate after doubling his side’s lead
Despite Elche pulling two second half goals back, Gonzalez’s late strike ensures Xavi’s (above) side took all three points to keep up their pursuit of getting back into the top four
Two minutes later it was more than just a foothold – they had their legs under the table. Morente turned provider and Pere Milla headed in the equalizer. Suddenly Barcelona’s youth team looked vulnerable but they have spirit as well as talent.
Jutgla had the chance to put Barcelona back into the lead but he fired over from Gavi’s assist. Nico, who had just come on, was then twice denied with goalbound shots after being set-up by Abde.
Xavi was brave with his substitutions. He took off Jutgla but did not bring on Luuk de Jong. And Frenkie de Jong was the next to go off with Riqui Puig coming on. With all the changes the tireless Gavi was now playing as false nine and he drifted wide to create the winner. He pulled the ball back intelligently for Nico who just squeezed his shot home before Josema could rob him.
The six minutes added one where interminable for Xavi but his young team held out for the three points.
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