Copa del Rey: Barcelona crush Real Murcia to advance

Copa Del Rey By: Ambrose Udeme | 29/11/2017

Barcelona's second string finished the job they started at third-tier Real Murcia in the Copa del Rey last 32 on Wednesday evening with a convincing 5-0 win at Camp Nou and progress to the round of 16 with an 8-0 aggregate score.

Two first-half goals from Paco Alcacer and Gerard Pique set the Catalans into the tunnel at the break with a comfortable lead.

Alex Vidal, Denis Suarez and Jose Amaiz all got on the scoresheet after the break to complete the rout and maintain their unbeaten start to the new season across all competition.

Following a healthy 3-0 first-leg lead, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde fielded a mix of fringe and young players.

Among the youngsters selected were Oriol Busquets and Alena, while the likes of goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, midfielder Denis Suarez and winger Vidal who are first-team regulars but not starters made the line-up for Murcia.

On the stroke of 15 minutes, Alcacer who also opened the scoring in the first leg—nodded Vidal’s cross into the net for a 1-0 lead, which Barca would take into the locker room at halftime.

After the break, in the 56th, Vidal served up his second assist of the evening, slipping a nice pass underneath to Piqué, who toed in for Barça’s second goal of the evening and its fifth of the two-game tie.

But Vidal evidently wasn’t content to be merely the provider, and in the 60th minute the versatile 28-year-old Catalan headed in a cross from defender Nélson Semedo to make it 3–0 (6-0 agg).

Suarez made it 4–0 in the 74th, slipping behind the defense and finishing with aplomb. With 11 minutes left on the clock, Arnaiz, the Barca B player who scored while debuting for the Catalans in the first leg back in October, notched his second career goal and made it 5–0 with a knuckling blast from the edge of the penalty area.

Barcelona are now one of the 16 teams still standing in what began in August as an 83-team tournament.

Sevilla and Real Sociedad also went through on Wednesday. Real Madrid, Celta Vigo, Leganés, Levante, and Numancia all qualified for the round of 16 on Tuesday night.

The final five teams in the last 16 will be determined on Thursday night, when La Liga mainstays Valencia, Villarreal, and Espanyol, among others, will be in action. The pairings for the round of 16 will be drawn on Tuesday, December 6.