Football

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Barca smash nine past Hospitalet

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Barcelona flexed their muscles in the Copa del Rey last 32 against Hospitalet last night, smashing the third division side 9-0 at the Nou Camp to progress in the competition.

After a relatively tight first leg back in November, Barca boss Pep Guardiola named a strong side in an effort to guarantee progression following the 1-0 win at the Estadi La Feixa Llarga.

And, despite leaving Lionel Messi out of the action in Catalonia, his players didn't disappoint, with Pedro, Anders Iniesta, Thiago Alcantara (2), Xavi, Tello (2) and Isaac Cuenca (2) all on the scoresheet.

"We went for the ball, and never let our guard down," Guardiola told Spanish publication Marca post-match.

"I did not want our team to slip up. We wanted to put the triumph in the cup [Club World Cup] behind us. We came from a long flight, and I asked my players to take the game seriously."

The 10-0 aggregate victory was marred by an injury to Iniesta, who is expected to miss between two-to-three weeks after limping off following a collision with visiting goalkeeper Carlos Craviotto.

However, the winter break in La Liga means the Spanish international could still be in contention to face Catalonia rivals Espanyol when the team returns to action on January 8th.

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