Barcelona waltzed to a comprehensive Copa Del Rey last sixteen second-leg victory at Elche on Thursday night – and did so without help from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Luis Enrique made eleven changes the side that saw off Atletico Madrid last weekend with a five goal cushion for the reserve side to fall back on.
But they didn’t rest on the achievements of the first team as they ran out 4-0 winners at the Martinez Valero.
First half goals from Jeremy Mathieu and Sergi Roberto set the tone for the game with Pedro and Adriano adding two more in the second half.
The 4-0 result was just as easy as it sounds with Elche providing little more than the odd crossbar clearing shot.
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The B Team
The only regular starters who made it into the squad were Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic – neither of whom made an appearance from the bench.
Despite coming under criticism for the handling of Lionel Messi in recent weeks, boss Luis Enrique has been praised for his use of the youth team.
Last night’s win saw the debuts of Gerard Gumbau and Alen Halilovic – the sixth and seventh youngsters who have made their bow for the Catalans in Enrique’s short time at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona’s 9-0 aggregate win sets up a quarter-final showdown with Atletico Madrid whose shock Torres double saw off Real Madrid in the last sixteen.
The two sides met less than a week ago in La Liga with Barcelona running out 3-1 winners with goals from each member of their attacking triumvirate of Messi, Neymar and Suarez.