Barcelona played their sixth La Liga match of the season against Elche on Saturday (September 17). The bottom-placed side were no match for them as they earned an easy win at Camp Nou.
Gonzalo Verdu made the task easier for the hosts by getting himself sent off just 14 minutes into the game. The Elche captain was shown a straight red for bringing Robert Lewandowski, who was through in on goal, down.
The Blaugrana went on to take advantage of the situation by opening the scoring 20 minutes later. It was Robert Lewandowski who found the back of the net for the hosts, with Alejandro Balde providing the assist.
Balde turned provider once against another seven minutes later, with Memphis Depay being the beneficiary this time. The Dutchman produced a great piece of skill to move away from his man and rattle the net with his left foot.
Spanish midfielder Pedri seemingly scored Barcelona’s third goal of the evening just before half-time. However, the 19-year-old had the goal ruled out as he was in an offside position.
Lewandowski, though, extended the Catalans’ lead just three minutes into the second half. The Camp Nou outfit went on to maintain their lead and earn a 3-0 victory over Elche.
The win has seen Barcelona go atop the La Liga table with 16 points, having won five and drawn one of their matches so far. Lewandowski, on the other hand, has taken his goalscoring tally in the league to eight goals from six matches.
Depay and Balde had great outings as well, playing key roles in the team’s goals on the evening. One player, though, who impressed without contributing to the scoreline was De Jong.
The former Ajax midfielder dictated the game for Xavi’s side as a deep-lying midfielder. Blaugrana fans, in particular, were impressed with the Netherlands international’s display on the evening.
Some even took to Twitter to wax lyrical about the midfielder.
De Jong has made seven appearances across all competitions for the Camp Nou outfit this term, scoring a goal in the process.
Barcelona return to action on October 1
The Catalans will now not return to action until October 1, with international fixtures coming up. They will lock horns with eighth-placed Mallorca when club football resumes next month.
Xavi’s side could go into the international break as La Liga table-toppers. However, Real Madrid could reclaim their place at the top of the table if they beat Atletico Madrid on Sunday (September 18).