Barcelona secured a much-needed victory at home to Elche in La Liga on Saturday evening with all the goals scored by players officially registered to the club’s B team
Barcelona’s young stars helped them secure a narrow and much-needed 3-2 victory at home to struggling Elche in a chaotic clash at the Camp Nou.
Ferran Jutgla, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez – who are all officially registered with the Catalan club’s B-team squad – were all on target for Barca, to secure just their third win in their last nine La Liga games.
Abdessamad Ezzalzouli, another B-team graduate, also impressed in a three-man attack for the injury-hit side with Riqui Puig and Alex Balde also featuring as late substitutions.
It was another example of the club’s strength in depth of young talent with midfield maestro Pedri and attacking star Ansu Fati among the lengthy casualty list.
Xavi Hernandez’s side started strongly and went two goals up inside the opening 20 minutes with debutant Jutgla and teenage midfielder Gavi both finding the net.
Elche, who started the game just two points above the relegation zone, slowly grew back into the game and transformed proceedings just after the hour mark by remarkably netting twice in two minutes.
After spurning multiple goal scoring opportunities, Tete Morente scored a rasping effort from inside the area before Pere Milla headed home an equaliser almost instantly – and just three minutes after he came on as a substitute.
Barca started to pile on the pressure as they pushed for a winning goal and with seven minutes remaining, Nico Gonzalez – who had replaced Jutgla 10 minutes earlier – fired them back into the lead.
It was Gavi who broke through the visiting side’s defence with a perfectly-timed run before cutting back to the onrushing Nico, whose cool finish restored the home team’s advantage.
The selection of Jutgla was the headline ahead of kick-off – the 22-year-old joined the ranks of Barca’s B team this summer from Espanyol B but had been propelled into the first-team squad due to a spate of injuries.
He had a goal ruled out for offside within two minutes but his strike 14 minutes later did count, before Gavi doubled the advantage with a stunning solo effort.
Elche then missed a series of presentable opportunities but it was not until after the hour mark that they made their chances counted.
The visiting side’s second goal was particularly chaotic from Barca’s point of view, with Jordi Alba failing to cut out a cross from the right with Milla allowed to drift into the area completely unmarked to head home the equaliser.
Barca substitute Nico clinched the points for his side with a fine finish after a flowing team move after more good work from Gavi.
Elche finished the game effectively a player short, as striker Lucas Perez pulled up with a muscular injury in the 82 nd minute – by which time the visitors had already made all five of their allocated substitutions.
The result ensures that Barca have leapfrogged Valencia into seventh spot, but they remain three points from a top four slot and a whopping 15 points from league leaders Real Madrid.
The Blaugrana remain two points behind Atletico Madrid, who have played a game fewer, while being nine and ten points behind Real Betis and Sevilla – ranked third and second – respectively.
Elche could yet end the weekend in the relegation zone with Cadiz and Getafe (18 th and 19 th ) both yet to play this matchday.