Barca re­serves hum­ble Her­cules

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Madrid

Barcelona’s re­serves got the job done on the sec­ond at­tempt, lead­ing the Cata­lan club to the last 16 of the Span­ish King’s Cup with a 7-0 rout of third-di­vi­sion Her­cules on Wed­nes­day.

Af­ter be­ing held 1-1 in the first leg, an Arda Tu­ran hat-trick helped the sec­ond-stringers to a facile vic­tory at Camp Nou.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion got off to a slow start, but the match opened up af­ter de­fender Lu­cas Digne got on the board with a shot from in­side the penalty area in the 37 th minute.

Mid­fielder Ivan Rakitic con­verted a penalty just be­fore half­time, and Rafinha, Tu­ran and Paco Al­cacer scored in the sec­ond half.

Al­cacer’s goal was his first in a com­pet­i­tive match since join­ing Barca this sea­son. The 23-year-old for­mer Va­len­cia striker net­ted in a friendly last week.

“We had to be pa­tient,” Rakitic said. “Af­ter the first goal, ev­ery­thing was eas­ier.”

De­spite the first-leg set­back, Barca coach Luis En­rique stuck to the re­serves and rested Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ney­mar and Ger­ard Pique af­ter they played in the team’s last league game of 2016 on the week­end.

Tu­ran, Rakitic, Rafinha and Javier Mascher­ano were the only sea­soned stars to start on Wed­nes­day, which marked the team’s fi­nal match of the year.

The Copa del Rey will re­sume in the first week of Jan­uary.

Else­where on Wed­nes­day, Lu­ciano Vi­etto and Wis­sam Ben Yed­der also scored tre­bles as last year’s run­ner-up Sevilla pum­meled fourth-tier For­mentera 9-1 in An­dalu­sia, com­plet­ing a 14-2 vic­tory over both legs.

Ro­drigo net­ted both Va­len­cia goals in a 2-1 win over Le­ganes in an all-La Liga clash, with Los Che pro­gress­ing 5-2 over­all.

On Tues­day, Atletico Madrid beat third-di­vi­sion Gui­juelo 10-1 on ag­gre­gate af­ter a 4-1 win at Vi­cente Calderon Sta­dium, while Real Madrid had al­ready reached the next round by elim­i­nat­ing third-di­vi­sion Cul­tural Leonesa.

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