🇪🇸 Messi double helps Barça close the gap on Atlético Madrid

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OneFootball

Joel Sanderson-Murray

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Barcelona closed the gap to Atlético Madrid at the top of LaLiga to five points after beating lowly Elche 3-0 at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi bagged a brace in the second half before Jordi Alba rounded things off 17 minutes from time for the hosts – who moved up to third in the table.

Scorers: Messi 48′, 69′, Alba 73′.

Barcelona 3
Elche 0
Full time

The first chance of the game had fallen to the visitors in the first ten minutes, as a cross found its way to Lucas Boyé at the back post but the striker couldn’t get it out of his feet and glanced his shot over the bar.

Barça had struggled to make the breakthrough until that man, Lionel Messi, stepped up again at the start of the second half.

The Argentine drove through the midfield and played a beautiful one-two – via a Martin Braithwaite backheel – before placing the shot past Edgar Badia.

Messi then produced the moment of the match to put the game beyond all doubt in the 69th minute.

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Frenkie de Jong broke through with spell-binding run on the counter-attack before finding the 33-year-old in the box who feigned to shoot before dinking the ball over the goalkeeper from close range.

Jordi Alba added some gloss to the scoreline when he bundled home Braithwaite’s header across goal after the Danish striker had been picked out by a lovely chipped pass from Messi.

It’s a third defeat in five for Elche, who drop to second-bottom due to goal difference.