Copa del Rey: Barcelona begin trophy defense in style - FCNaija

Copa Del Rey By: Ambrose Udeme | 24/10/2017

A second-string Barcelona side began the defence of the Copa del Rey title they won last season with a 3-0 emphatic win over Segunda B side Real Murcia at the Estadio Nueva Condomina on Tuesday.

Paco Alcácer set the ball rolling for the rampant visitors with a header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner with Gerard Deulofeu providing the assist.

After the break, Deulofeu whose controversial goal against Malaga last weekend informed a widespread call for goal-line technology in Spain added Barca's second with a right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner.

José Arnáiz made it 3-0 four minutes later from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner with a right-footed low drive.

Up against a third-tier side, most of FC Barcelona’s bona fide stars—like Leo Messi, Luis Suárez, Andrés Iniesta, Samuel Umtiti, Sergio Busquets, and Marc-André ter Stegen—did not even make the trip.

And the three most used this season among those who did travel south—Gerard Piqué, Ivan Rakitic and Sergi Roberto—did not even start. Rakitic and Roberto both came on as subs in the 76th minute.

With Murcia just seconds away from taking a scoreless deadlock into the intermission, Alcácer nodded Deulofeu’s cross past Murcia goalkeeper Alejandro Santomé to give Barça a 1-0 lead.

The 44th-minute goal was a painful blow to Murcia, which had managed to hold the top-ranked team in La Liga in check for most of the first half.

Deulofeu made it 2–0 in the 52nd, expertly dribbling through three defenders in the Murcia penalty area before slipping the ball from a tight angle past the sliding Santome.

In the 56th, Arnáiz, the Barca B forward, making his first-team debut, sized one up from the edge of the Murcia area, pulled the trigger, and blasted the shot past Santome.