Elche once again showed how much they have improved since Fran Escriba returned as coach and Dani Calvo's 61st minute header off the underside of the bar gave them the lead against a lackluster Real Madrid, who once again failed to perform against a rival in the bottom half of the table on Saturday
Wednesday's 3-0 win at home to Elche moved Barca a point above Sevilla into third place in La Liga, five points behind Atletico Madrid, but with an extra game played, Ronald Koeman's side needs all three points
Barca coach Ronald Koeman said in his pre-game press conference that this game and Saturday's trip to Sevilla were vital for his side's title chances, and he made changes to try and keep his squad fresh
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was named in Ronald Koeman's starting XI for a meeting with Alaves on Saturday, a game in which he scored twice in a 5-1 win. That outing has taken him level with a former team-mate Xavi when it comes to league outings for the Blaugrana.