Copa del Rey: Messi hands Mascherano perfect parting gift

Copa Del Rey By: Ambrose Udeme | 11/01/2018

A Lionel Messi brace ensured Javier Mascherano bid the Camp Nou and its faithfuls farewell on a winning note as a rampaging Barcelona cruised to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals with a 5-0 win over Celta Vigo on Thursday night in their Round of 16 second leg fixture.

Two goals in two minutes in the opening quarter of the game by Messi reminded Celta that the big guns were missing in the first leg stalemate. 

Jordi Alba extended the home side's lead two minutes from the half-hour mark before Luis Suarez added a fourth three minutes later as Barcelona retreated to the dressing room with a commanding lead.

A late second-half strike by Ivan Rakitic meant Barcelona won 6-1 on aggregate after last week's 1-1 first-leg stalemate in Vigo, joining Real Madrid who edged Numancia with a sloppy display on Wednesday in the final eight round.


Mascherano made his final appearance for Barcelona on Thursday against Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey last 16.

Mascherano has reportedly agreed a move to China, and the Argentine defender was given a farewell in front of the Camp Nou faithful, with Thomas Vermaelen rested.

Elsewhere for Barca, Nelson Semedo came in at right-back, Sergio Busquets returned as their midfield pivot and Ousmane Dembele made way for Andre Gomes.

Celta, before this game possessed one of the better records against the Catalans, winning four and drawing three of their last 17 meetings. The heavy defeat also ended Coach Juan Carlos Unzue's unbeaten run in his two games against his former club.

More to follow...