Barcelona go third after scraping past Elche

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Ferran Torres scored his third goal for Barcelona and his first in La Liga since his January move from Manchester City
Ferran Torres scored his third goal for Barcelona and his first in La Liga since his January move from Manchester City

Substitute Ferran Torres was the inspiration as Barcelona came from behind to maintain their fine recent form with victory at mid-table Elche.

Trailing at the break to Fidel’s opener, Barca boss Xavi sent on Torres and the former Manchester City man equalised with an instinctive finish.

He could have scored more but found Elche keeper Edgar Badia in fine form.

However, fellow sub Memphis Depay won and converted a late penalty to fire Barca up to third in La Liga.

The Catalan giants have scored four times in four of their last six games, with January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting in each of his four La Liga games.

However, he was well shackled here as Barca initially struggled to impose themselves and Elche led at the breakthrough Fidel’s fine finish.

The second-half arrival of Torres changed the impetus and he was immediately involved, cleverly turning home Jordi Alba’s knockdown and forcing Badia into a series of excellent saves.

Aubameyang was sacrificed for Depay and the Dutchman pressurised Antonio Barragan into a handball in the box, with a penalty subsequently awarded after the referee checked the pitchside monitor.

Depay himself blasted home the penalty to secure three vital points and move Barca above Real Betis, who host fifth-placed Atletico later.

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