The crisis might not be over, but certainly FC Barcelona will be feeling a little better about themselves this morning after last night's impressive dismantling of lowly Elche CF at the Camp Nou. The plucky little side from Alicante are rooted to the bottom of the La Liga table and are themselves under a transfer embargo for their failure to pay their players, past and present, perhaps reminded the watching Cules that while times are tough at the Camp Nou, they could be far worse.
Indeed, in spite of a highly defensive formation featuring no fewer than six defenders and a complementary holding midfielder, Fran Escriba's side simply couldn't cope with the Blaugrana's attacking prowess, as a Barcelona attack featuring Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez repeatedly tore through the visiting defense at will. After a goal from the Brazilian superstar got the ball rolling, the result never looked to be in any doubt. Subsequent goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Neymar again only served to emphasis the gulf in class between these two sides.
As such, it's safe to say that FC Barcelona have probably done enough to ensure progression into the next round of the Copa del Rey, the quarter-final stage where they will most likely contend a tough two-legged affair with reigning Spanish champions and this weekend's upcoming opponents, Atletico Madrid. Therein will lie the true test of our troubled club; sure, we can still beat Elche, but do we really have the skill, commitment and confidence to defeat our true rivals?
Only time will tell...
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- Copa del Rey: FC Barcelona vs Elche CF: Predict the Score