Leo Messi was out to prove a point on Sunday against Elche in the first game of the season for the Catalan giants. He did it in style too and netted a brace for his efforts in Barça’s 3-0 win.
The other goal was netted by youngster Munir El Haddadi, who looks like being one of the revelations this season under new coach Luis Enrique. Barça also had to overcome the sending off of Javier Mascherano late in the first half to put La Liga new boys Elche to the sword in their baptism of fire.
18 year old Munir impressed in the mid-week game against Mexican outfit Leon and that was sufficient for Luis Enrique to bring him on off the bench to net his first La Liga goal in his debut with the senior squad.
Two others that also made their debut were Claudio Bravo in goal and ex Valencia player Jeremy Mathieu at the back.The midfield consisted of new arrival Ivan Rakitic plus old faces Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
Luis Enrique was forced to make some changes after Mascherano’s departure in the 43rd minute due to a red card for tripping up Rodrigues who was on his way to the Barça penalty area. Marc Bartra came on to tighten the defense and Rafinha had to give up his spot for him.
Even though Barcelona were down to 10 men, Elche wasn’t a problem for the Catalans as they sealed their first win of the season and collected 3 valuable points.