Barca-Espanyol, Real-Leganes in Copa del Rey quarterfinals

Messi stars as Barca thrash Celta in the cup

With the tie effectively at an end, Ernesto Valverde took the chance to give Messi some rest, replacing his number 10 with Ousmane Dembele just before the hour mark to deafening applause from Camp Nou.

"The connection between Messi and Alba is nothing new, it has been working for years", Valverde said. From that moment on, both sides went through the motions, with Luis Suarez making the most of some slack play at the back to score a fourth before the break.

The 29-time Spanish Cup winners, who have lifted the trophy in each of the last three seasons, demolished their opponents 6-1 on aggregate.

Not content with their 2-0 lead, Barca continued to push forward, with Suarez seeing a goal harshly ruled out for offside before Andres Iniesta was denied by Sergio's fingertips after a fine Messi backheel.

Celta had drawn 2-2 at Barcelona in La Liga last month and had gone into Thursday's match after holding Madrid to a 2-2 draw in the league last weekend.

High-flying Valencia will have been pleased to draw Alaves, the lowest-placed team remaining in the Copa del Rey, although the latter will be in high spirits after beating Formentera 5-1 on aggregate in the last round. Correa then headed in from a corner taken by Pablo Sarabia in the 54th. Atletico is second and Sevilla fifth.

"It was a complicated match". "But I shouldn't say that because it will mean we'll draw them!" "We are sad, but we will get through this together".

That happens to be the same scoreline by which the Blaugrana beat local rivals Espanyol when they last met back in September, with Lionel Messi contributing a hat-trick along with goals from Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.

Moreno set up Baptistao in the 14th minute, before scoring his goal in the 34th.

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