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Barcelona was without the suspended Lionel Messi for the away clash against Elche but was able to get the three points despite playing an average game.
In the absence of the Argentine talisman, De Jong provided a stellar performance by scoring a goal and providing another assist. De Jong scored perhaps the easiest goal in his career just before halftime as he poked the ball over the line after a Martin Braithwaite cross had deflected off an Elche player.
The second half continued the same way the first half ended as there were few clear-cut chances from both teams. However, Ter Stegen was called to action deep into the second half after a misplaced pass from Umtiti almost led to the home side equalizing. Trincao came on for Dembele late in the second half and was close to scoring twice as he looked bright.
However, substitute Ricky Puig scored the second goal of the game via a header after a wonderful run and lob into the box from De Jong. De Jong gave a man of the match display and continued his impressive form.
“We’re better this year. We’ve had to play all our games away and in La Liga, we have done well. For me, playing better is not just about goals and assists but I’m happy of course to score and assist today,” De Jong said after the match.
Barcelona would now face Rayo Vallecano in the Copa Del Rey on Wednesday. The game is set to witness the return of Lionel Messi after serving a 2-match suspension for hitting an Athletic Bilbao player in the Super Cup final.