Barcelona vs. Elche: Final score 4-0, Alexis' hat trick leads the Blaugrana back into first place

David Ramos

Barca moved back into first place thanks to a hat trick from Alexis Sánchez.

Elche had never won a league match at the Camp Nou and that didn't change on Sunday, as Barcelona easily dispatched Los Franjiverdes 3-0. Alexis Sánchez scored a hat trick to lead Barca.

Barcelona brought the pressure from the opening whistle and it took just under seven minutes to start the scoring. Jordi Alba's wonderfully executed low cross from the left wing curled around three Elche defenders and fell right in the path of Alexis Sánchez. The Chilean deftly directed the ball past Toño with just a single touch and Barca were off and running with a 1-0 lead.

Eight minutes later, it was Pedro Rodriguez's turn to break down the Elche defense, albeit with a little help. Cesc Fàbregas' through ball allowed Pedro to catch the Elche defense flat-footed as he raced behind them and onto the ball. Toño did his best to close down Pedro's angle but the winger rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

Barca should have extended their lead against early in the second half, but Xavi's penalty attempt went wide of the post. The chance came after Pedro found Fábregas moving into the Elche box with a pinpoint pass from distance. Cristian Sapunaru brought down the Spanish attacker and the referee pointed to the spot.

The third goal finally arrived in the 63rd minute thanks to some sublime passing by the Blaugrana. Andrés Iniesta started the play, sending the ball to Pedro on the run on the left side of the Elche area. The winger immediately centered the ball, where Alexis was waiting to direct the ball past Toño for his second goal of the match.

Sanchez completed his hat trick in the 69th minute after earning a free kick from a rather ugly tackle by Elche's Alberto Botía. Alexis paid him back for the foul by sending a curling free kick past Toño to increase the Barca lead to 4-0.

Barcelona: Valdés, Montoya, Piqué, Bartra, Alba, Song, Xavi (Roberto 65'), Iniesta, Sánchez (Tello 74'), Pedro (Neymar 81'), Fábregas

Goals: Sánchez (7', 63', 69'), Pedro (15')

Elche: Toño, Botia, Lomban, Sapunaru (Mantecón 80'), Albácar, Pérez, Aarón, Gil, Fidel (Manu 61'), Sanchez (Marquez 66'), Boakye

Goals: None

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