3 vs. 0
BCN
ELC
93'
FULL TIME: Barcelona 3-0 Elche. A convincing win for the Catalans. The Luis Enrique era starts with a win.
92'
Barca are seeing out the game now. Passing the ball around the defence and the midfield with ease, before presenting Pedro with a decent chance. But Tyton comes out to smother the shot.
91'
Messi has a couple more minutes to find is hat-trick. He has looked back to his best for Barcelona tonight. It's an ominious start for he Calatans. They have been in complete control, even with 10 men.
90'
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
89'
Elche are still giving it their all. This time they press down Barca in their own half, with he Catalans somewhat caught cold by their effort at this stage of the game.
88'
Barcelona are enjoying such dominance that Alba is almost playing as a third attacker on the left side. He's sometimes Barcelona's furthest forward player. He's hungry for a goal, I reckon.
87'
The Barcelona supporters are chanting the name of Luis Enrique. I suppose that's the benefit of already being a hero at the club you take over as manager at. They love him at the Camp Nou.
86'
Barcelona have looked like a team in sync tonight, which is rather intimidating. They're still without Luis Suarez and Neymar. Can you imagine how good they're going to be when those two come back?
85'
Tackles are flying in from both sides, but the referee is letting everything go. Any chance of a whistle any time soon, no?
84'
Pedro has another chance to put a ball into the box, this time for Roberto but he takes too long, allowing the Elche defender to make the challenge. He hasn't been too clever since coming on.
83'
Alba sprints down the left side with blistering pace and plays a clever little short pass into Pedro. But the cross into the box from the winger is poor and Elche clear the ball, only for Barca to come right back at them.
82'
Messi is roaming all over the pitch now. He's dropping deep to receive the ball and even drifting out wide to cut inside on to his left foot. And then he slips back to left back. Free role? This is the definition.
Elche Substitution
81'
 
Elche sub: Alvaro Gimenez OFF, Adrian Gonzalez ON.
80'
With Rakitic being signed over the summer it be interesting to note how Roberto is used by Enrique this season. He had just started to become a first team player under Martino last term, but what opportunities will he be afforded now?

Given how Messi is playing tonight, makes you think his later WC performances were result of severe fatigue. Such a shame

78'
The Camp Nou gives Iniesta a standing ovation as he comes off. The midfielder is arguably adored just as much as Messi is in these parts. Roberto comes on in his place for the final 10 minutes or so.
Barcelona Substitution
77'
 
Barcelona sub: Andres Iniesta OFF, Sergi Roberto ON.
76'
Albacer comes down the left side and swings a cross into the box but Bartra remains solid to make the header.
75'
As much as Barcelona have dominated this game, they haven't created much in the way of clear goalscoring opportunities. Will that change in the final 15 minutes of this game as Elche grow weary?
74'
Pedro drives from deep, with options on his left and right. But as he makes his way forward the Elche defence splits, allowing him to have a shot on goal. But Tyton beats the effort away.
73'
I'm surprised that Messi is still on the pitch actually. Remember he was involved in the World Cupf final, so he hasn't had a full pre-season, and yet Enrique has kept him on as long as this.
72'
Pedro has moved up front with Messi since coming on for Munir. It's a slightly different role for him. He's best on the wing, stretching the pitch and creating space for others in the middle.
71'
Rodrigues is still trying to create something in front of goal for Elche, but even with ten men Barcelona are toying with the attacker, playing passes around him at will.
70'
To be fair to Barcelona, the intensity has also dropped out of Elche's game too. There's little prospect of them mounting a comeback here, even with the extra man. They just don't have the quality.
68'
The pace of the game has dropped since Messi scored Barcelona's second goal. The Catalans have this game won, but that doesn't mean that Elche are making any real progress.
67'
The Camo Nou stands to applaud Munir as he comes off for Pedro. Barcelona has a new star. He scored 18 goals in 13 games for Barca's youth team last season. He's made a good start to life in the senior team.
Barcelona Substitution
66'
 
Barcelona sub: Munir El Haddadi OFF, Pedro Rodriguez ON.
Elche Substitution
65'
 
Elche sub: Coro OFF, Fyncal Fajr ON.
64'
Iniesta is down on the turf after taking a dull one on top of his toe. He looked to be caught on the ankle in the same tackle by Alvaro. That was a sore one for the Barcelona captain.
63'
 
GOAL! Barcelona 3 (63 mins - Lionel Messi) Elche 0. What a goal! Messi picks up a loose ball just inside the box, feigning a shot not once but twice and then angles a shot into the bottom corner.
Barcelona Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Left

62'
But just like that Barcelona win the ball again and are doing tha thing that Barcelona tend to do when they are winning. Namely, pass the ball around the midfield and defence with ease.
61'
Elche are enjoying a good spell of possession at the moment, but they're doing very little with it when they move into the final third. That's been their problem the entire game. They have scant threat.
59'
I have been calling the Elche keeper Suarez all night, because that was what he was down as on the teamsheet. But his name is Tyton, so apologies for that. They sound similar, so whatever....
58'
Another slick passing move sees the ball threaded through to Bartra, of all people, but he can't squeeze his shot under the advancing body of Suarez in the Elche goal. Good goalkeeping.
57'
Intricate play from Barcelona sees Iniesta poke the ball into the path of Alves down the right channel, but his cross into the box for Messi is blocked by the keeper and Elche clear their lines.
56'
 
YELLOW CARD: Mario Pasalic (Elche)
Elche Yellow card

Barcelona

Elche

55'
So how do Elche approach this game now that they are 2-0 down? Rodrigues has been their best player on the counter attack but they simply haven't got the ball to him that often.
54'
 
Elche sub: Jose Angel Alonso OFF, Alvaro Gimenez ON.
Elche Substitution
53'
Rakitic looks to be playing in a more advanced position in this half. He was used as something of a deep lying playmaker before the break but he's now more of a number 10.
52'
It wasn't just the finish from Munir that was impressive about the goal. The left-footed pass over the top from Rakitic was magnificent as well. That was the new Barca in a microcosm.
51'
The change at the break has given Barcelona more structure following the sending off of Mascherano. Bartra has slotted in at centre back, with Enrique favouring a front two of Munir and Messi.
50'
Messi jinks through the tackles of a few Elche players, driving at the opposition backline, but Pellegrin makes the challenge just as it looks like the number 10 is about to break through.
49'
Enrique and his coaching staff are slapping each other on the back after their decision to keep Munir on the pitch and sacrifice Rafinha for Bartra instead. What a finish by the teenager.

Oof, what a finish. If he carries on like this, Munir will be playing at Stoke in six years.

47'
 
GOAL! Barcelona 2 (47 mins - Munir) Elche 0. The 18-year-old has scored on his debut Barca debut! Munir gets in behind the Elche defender and flicks the ball into the net with the outside of his foot.
47'
HALF TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Elche. A dominant display from Barca, but the game took a twist with the dismissal of Mascherano late in the first half. Can Elche make a game of this after the break?
Barcelona Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Left

46'
 
Barcelona sub: Rafinha OFF, Marc Bartra ON.
46'
So how will that change the game? I would suggest not very much. I mean, it might knock Barcelona's passing dominance down to about 60%. How will they cope? (this is sarcasm)
Barcelona Substitution
45'
The second half is under way at the Camp Nou!
-
What did you make of the first half? Will the sending off of Mascherano make much of a difference after the break? Should Enrique make changes at half time? Tweet me!
Graham Ruthven (grahamruthven) on Twitter

The latest from Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven). I write about football/soccer/fußball/fútbol (delete as appropriate). Pronounce my name however you want

45'
Two minutes of stoppage time to be played.
44'
A long punt from Suarez sends Rodrigues through on goal for Elche. Mascherano knows he can't catch him so steps across him and makes contact to bring him down as the last man. Clear sending off.
Barcelona Red card

Barcelona

Elche

43'
 
RED CARD! Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).
42'
 
GOAL! Barcelona 1 (42 mins - Lionel Messi) Elche 0. Messi opens Barcelona's account in typical Messi fashion! He turns the defender on the edge of the box, beating two more opponents before angling a shot into the bottom corner.
Barcelona Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Right

41'
Rakitic is playin very deep. He is playing in the Xavi role, which is slightly different to the position that he played in and excelled in for Sevilla last season. Will he be able to adapt?
40'
Barcelona are pegging Elche deep inside their own half here. The visitors simply can't get out, other than the odd run by Albacer, who is so isolated that Mathieu or Busquets make a simple tackle.
39'
What a pass by Messi! The little Argentine threads through an exceptional pass for Munir, who should realy shoot but he tries to play it to Rafinha. It's one pass too many and Elche can clear.
38'
Elche tries to hit hard on the counter attack, playing a long ball over the top for an attacker to chase, but Mascherano comes across and makes the interception to clear the danger.
37'
Here's a statistic for you. Barcelona have had 79% of possession in this first half so far. They've hit the woodwork twice as well. Nobody could argue that they haven't been the better team.
35'
 
Messi is offside. Iniesta plays a wicked cross in behind the Elche defence, with Pellegri having a fresh air shot at it, giving Messi the chance to flick it towards goal. The keeper makes the save but the flag is up.
34'
Munir makes a run down the left side to retrieve a slightly overhit pass. But when he gets to the byline he overhits his own cross, with the bal sailing over the heads of his teammates in the box.
33'
Good effort by Barca! Rakitic plays a rehearsed freekick to the penalty spot, where Alves is making the run from outside the box. He meets it on the volley but plants his shot wide of the goal.
32'
 
Cross bar! After a passing move which must have seen about 20 passes made, Iniesta lines up a shot from 20 yards with his left foot, but his effort smashes back off the crossbar with Suarez beaten!
30'
Play is stopped with a couple of players from either side slumped on the ground having been hacked down. And yet the referee has kept his whistle and his book in his pocket.
29'
Well that was ridiculous. The referee first of all lets a challenge on Rakitic go, with the Croatian hacked down from behind. Then Albacer is brought down and to even things up, that one is ignored as well.
28'
Mathieu makes a slide challenge on Albacer, who was trying to spark an Elche counter attack, and the Camp Nou crowd rises to salute their new centre back. That's how to endear yourself to your new fans.
27'
Just after Munir hit the bar Messi lined up a shot from 20 yards, but the Argentine number 10 fired well over the target. Decent effort but probably should have done better with it.
View image on Twitter

Illustration: Rafinha & Albácar look on as a cat invades the pitch in tonights game between @FC_Barcalona & Elche http://t.co/G68Nx2IN0T

25'
That's the closest either side has come to a goal. That's the kind if quick play in and around the box that Barcelona need. That's why they have brought the likes of Munir and Rafinha into the team.
24'
You get the feeling that if that had gone in that would have been a Messi debut moment for Munir. You've seen the video. The one where Messi scores the exact same goal on his debut after the first one was wrongly ruled out for offside.
23'
 
Munir smashes a shot off the angle of post and crossbar! The 18-year-old performs a turn on a six-pence inside the box and tries to find the near post, but the woodwork denies him a debut goal.
22'
After a lively start, Messi has faded. He is seing very little of the ball and is toiling to get himself involved in the play.
21'
Of course, Barcelona could still make a few new signings with 16 days of the transfer window left. After the window closes they will be banned from making signings for 16 months. No pressure then.
20'
Rakitic has started well for Barcelona, while Mathieu and Bravo have had very little to do at the back. And that's your update of how Barca's new faces are doing on their La Liga debut.
19'
Rodriguez beats one man and attempts an effort at goal, but his shot wide of the target with Bravo comfortable in the knowledge it was going wide. But he looks lively for Elche tonight.
18'
As much as Barcelona are dominating the game and the play in general, they're being kept at arms length by Elche. Messi is struggling to create any chances in front of goal.

Just seen Luis Enrique's elbow-patches. Subtler than Emery's and much better than a gilet. The Spanish have outwitted us again.

16'
Elche just can't get hold of the ball at the moment. Barcelona are knocking it about at ease, with Iniesta and Rakitic pulling the strings in the centre of midfield. Elche could do with that cat to chase them down.
15'
At times under Martino Barcelona looked short of ideas and inventiveness in the final third, which is probably why Enrique has decided to throw in two youngsters into his frontline.
14'
Munir has only played four games for Barcelona's B side. In a sense he has skipped a level, having been dropped into the senior team from the youth team, where he excelled.
12'
Munir and Rafinha are linking up well with Messi. It will be interesting to see how those two feature when Suarez and Neymar are available for Barcelona.
11'
 
Fantastic ball with the outside of the foot by Messi for Rafinha to run on to. The goalkeeper Suarez comes out and clatters the Barca player to the ground, but the flag has already been raised.
10'
The challenge for Enrique is to evolve Barcelona's 'tiki-taka' style of play. Under Martino and Vilanova is became too predictable and ponderous in the final third. They need more pace in the final third.
9'
Messi weaves inside off the right wing, dropping a shoulder to beat a couple of Elche defenders, but his cross to the back post is cleared. The Argentine looks in the mood tonight.
8'
13 of Barcelona's squad tonight has come through he famed La Masia youth academy. It felt like the club was losing its identity in recent season but Enrique looks to be giving the youngsters chances again.
7'
Barcelona have started the game well. They have won their opening game of the Liga season in each of the past four years. In fact, the last time they lost was on Pep Guardiola's league debut back in 2008.
6'
I'm still giddy about the cat on the pitch. Right, time to compose myself there's a game happening, with Rafinha passing up a decent half chance. The Elche defence recovers well to make the challenge.
4'
They've finally caught the cat and the game can continue. You know what they say about a black cat on the pitch. It's good luck. Maybe.
3'
We have a delay in play at the moment. There's a black cat on the pitch, and it's enjoying itself. I mean, Bravo is nicknamed the cat but this is a different cat. This is an actual black cat.
2'
The television graphic ahead of the game showed Fabregas in the starting lineup. I can assure you that Fabregas will not be playing for Barcelona tonight.
1'
We're under way at the Camp Nou! It's Barcelona against Elche.
19:55
There are also starts for summer signings Bravo in goal, with Ter Stegen out injured, with Mathieu also playing at the centre of defence. It's a very different Barcelona team, that's for sure.
19:45
What a bold selection by Enrique, who is taking charge of his first competitive game as Barca boss. Xavi has been axed, with Rakitic making his debut for the club. And there's a debut for 18-year-old Munir, with Rafinha also playing.
19:40
TEAM NEWS: Barcelona - Bravo, Alves, Mathieu, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Munir, Messi, Rafinha. /// Elche - Suarez, Lomban, Pelegrin, Albacar, Mosquera, Gonzalez, Pasalic, Rodrigues, Coro, Jonathas.
19:35
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can contact me on Twitter ahead of the game to let me know your thoughts. Are Barcelona the favourites to win this season's Liga title? Can Elche cause a shock at Camp Nou? Tweet me!
Graham Ruthven (grahamruthven) on Twitter

The latest from Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven). I write about football/soccer/fußball/fútbol (delete as appropriate). Pronounce my name however you want

19:30
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the La Liga opening weekend game between Barcelona and Elche. We'll bring you all the action and goals as they go in at Camp Nou. Kick off: 20:00.

Starting Line-ups

Barcelona
Elche
    • 13
      Bravo
    • 18
      Alba
    • 24
      Mathieu
    • 14
      Mascherano
    • 22
      Dani Alves
    • 8
      C
      Iniesta
    • 5
      Busquets
    • 4
      Rakitic
    • 31
      El Haddadi
    • 10
      Messi
    • 12
      Rafinha
Team Manager:  Luis Enrique
    • 22
      Jonathas
    • 10
      Coro
    • 24
      Pasalic
    • 6
      Mosquera
    • 11
      Rodrigues
    • 14
      José Ángel
    • 2
      Suárez
    • 4
      Lombán
    • 18
      Pelegrín
    • 21
      C
      Edu Albácar
    • 25
      Tyton
Team Manager:  Fran Escribá
Substitutes
Players Sub Time
Substitutes
Players Sub Time
Goalkeepers
GOALKEEPERS
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
C. Bravo 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 90
Defenders
DEFENDERS
Defenders G GA SHO TA CLR COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
J. Alba 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 90
Dani Alves 0 0 1 3 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 90
J. Mathieu 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
M. Bartra 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 45
J. Mascherano 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 44
Midfielders
MIDFIELDERS
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
S. Busquets 0 1 0 92 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 90
I. Rakitic 0 0 1 112 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 90
A. Iniesta 0 0 1 104 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 78
Sergi Roberto 0 0 0 23 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 12
Forwards
FORWARDS
Forwards G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
L. Messi 2 0 3 58 0 0 2 4 0 0 0 90
M. El Haddadi 1 0 2 22 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 67
Rafinha 0 0 0 25 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 45
Pedro 0 0 2 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 23
Goalkeepers
GOALKEEPERS
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
P. Tyton 0 3 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 90
Defenders
DEFENDERS
Defenders G GA SHO TA CLR COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
Lombán 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
D. Suárez 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 90
S. Pelegrín 0 0 0 6 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 90
Edu Albácar 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 90
Midfielders
MIDFIELDERS
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
P. Mosquera 0 0 0 49 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 90
Rodrigues 0 0 1 19 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 90
M. Pasalic 0 0 0 31 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 81
Coro 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 66
José Ángel 0 0 0 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 54
F. Fajr 0 0 0 16 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 24
Adrián 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 9
Forwards
FORWARDS
Forwards G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
Jonathas 0 0 1 23 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 89
Álvaro 0 0 0 5 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 36
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