11 Jan Five-star Barcelona cruise through in Copa del Rey
Holders Barcelona cruised into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 5-0 victory over Celta Vigo on Thursday night.
The tie was delicately poised at 1-1 after a first leg in which Celta played extremely well against, admittedly, an under strength Barca team but Ernesto Valverde recalled the likes of Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi for the return match and the Catalans blitzed their opponents with an utterly dominant first-half display.
Messi scored two quick goals and then set up Alba before Suarez netted the fourth goal with just 31 minutes on the clock.
Barcelona took their foot off the pedal in the second half and Ivan Rakitic completed the scoring three minutes from time.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Messi
The little magician had another one of those nights where everything he touched turned to gold. It often looks like Messi is playing a different game to his contemporaries and after getting his name on the scoresheet twice he set up Barcelona’s third goal. A lovely piece of skill almost laid on a goal for Iniesta before he was withdrawn just before the hour mark.
Moment of the match
Suarez seems to be enjoying his football again and the Uruguay striker almost scored a stunning goal near the end when he tried to chip the goalkeeper from way out. It was such an audacious effort but we have seen from his time at Liverpool that he has that in his locker and he was not too far away from pulling it off again.
Messi’s double took him to 46 goals in the Copa del Rey and saw him move up to 10th place in the competition’s all-time list of scorers.
Barcelona: Jasper Cillessen 5 (out of 10), Nelson Semedo 6, Gerard Pique 6, Javier Mascherano 6, Jordi Alba 7, Ivan Rakitic 6, Sergi Busquets 7, Andres Iniesta 7, Andre Gomes 6, Lionel Messi 8, Luis Suarez 7. Substitutes: Thomas Vermaelen (for Pique, 46) 5, Ousmane Dembele (for Messi, 59) 6, Jose Arniaz (for Iniesta, 62) 6.
Celta Vigo: Sergio 5, Hugo Mallo 5, Sergi Gomez 5, Andreu Fontas 5, Jonny 5, Daniel Wass 5, Stanislav Lobotka 5, Jozabed 5, Iago Aspas 6, Maxi Gomez 5, Pione Sisto 5. Substitutes: Nemanja Radoja (for Wass, 46) 4, Gómez González (for Aspas, 46) 5, Brais Mendez (for Sisto, 57) 5.
Who’s up next?
Real Sociedad v Barcelona (LaLiga, January 14)
Levante v Celta Vigo (LaLiga, January 14)