Barca reserves humble Hercules
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.