Football Barcelona fights back and wins in Elche

LaLiga - Elche vs Barcelona
Soccer Football – LaLiga – Elche v Barcelona – Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero, Elche, Spain – March 6, 2022 FC Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo celebrates after the match REUTERS/Pablo Morano

March 6, 2022

(Reuters) – Barcelona fought back to a 2-1 win in an insanely entertaining game in Elche on Sunday when a late penalty from Memphis Depay ensured they continued their revival after a difficult start to the season.

Following the sacking of former coach Ronald Koeman in November when former coach Ronald Koeman was fired, Xavi Hernandez’s revived Barca have climbed into the top three in LaLiga, overtaking Betis in third place.

Elche, in mid-table, opened the scoring just before half-time when Pedri tried to clear the ball but Fidel Chavez made a perfect assist who passed Dani Alves and hit the right post with an angled shot.

Ferran Torres equalized via the right flank in the 61st minute after a great game from Ousmane Dembele. His cross was deflected by Jordi Alba and the former Manchester City striker, in the right place at the right time, converted it from close range.

The next 20 minutes were hectic, with both teams creating chances that were thwarted only by goalkeepers Marc Andre ter Stegen and Edgar Badia.

Badia made three great stops after powerful close-range shots from Torres, while Ter Stegen saved Barcelona late when he dived for a fingertip save from a Pere Milla strike that went into the top right corner.

Barca’s winner arrived after the video assistant referee spotted a handball from an Elche defender in the penalty area in the 84th minute and Depay fired his penalty into the top left corner.

VAR had to work twice more after that as Elche were controversially denied two penalties following handball complaints against Barca players.

“Handballs in the penalty area can always be discussed,” ter Stegen told reporters.

“Players cannot remove their arms from their bodies within the area. I think the referee made the right decisions.”

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas in Madrid, editing by Toby Davis) Football Barcelona fights back and wins in Elche

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