Torres, Depay strike as Barca rally to win at Elche

Second-half goals from Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay helped Barcelona come from behind to claim a 2-1 victory away to Elche on Sunday. Elche took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Fidel Chaves, who intercepted a poor pass from Pedri before racing into the box and striking home.

Elche replacement Javier Pastore received a straight card for dissent following the awarding of the penalty.

“Memphis can be an important player,” Xavi said in a post-match news conference. “The penalty is unstoppable. It’s a positive. He trains really well. He’s the team’s top scorer. He’s really professional. We’re managing his minutes because he’s just back from an injury.”

The VAR was put to work twice more after that, as Elche were controversially denied two penalties following handball appeals against Barca players.

“Handballs inside the box can always be discussed,” Ter Stegen told reporters.

“Players can’t take their arms off their bodies inside the area. I think the referee made the right decisions.”

Having fallen as low as ninth back in November, when former coach Ronald Koeman was fired, Xavi Hernandez’s revitalised Barca have climbed into LaLiga’s top three with 48 points, leapfrogging Betis in third place.

“I was angry at half time because we didn’t deserved to be behind after what we had created,” Xavi added.

“[Elche goalkeeper] Edgar was brilliant. I was annoyed, angry. But I was hopeful that if we attacked better, we would win. That’s what I told the players. I made a positional change [Ferran on] and it worked well for us.”