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FC Barcelona have eased their way into the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey with a 5-0 victory at the home of third-tier Ceuta.
The home side started brightly, and the Catalans took some time to finally make their superiority show. But once the first and second goals came on either side of half-time, there was never going to be any way back into things for Ceuta, who were eventually soundly beaten by five goals.
And for one man in particular, this was a night he will never forget. 18-year-old Ángel Alarcón was the latest of many young starlets to make his debut under Xavi Hernández.
The eventual goalfest was in stark contrast to the rather uneventful first 41 minutes, in which the home side, eight points adrift at the bottom of their third tier division, were coping admirably well against the team that’s three points clear at the top of the Liga table.
In fact, Ceuta had probably had the best of the very few chances before Raphinha collected the ball on the edge of the area and curled in past a goalkeeper who will feel he should have done better.
On a bitterly cold, windy night on the North African coast, it hadn’t been a vintage display from the Catalans but they were a goal to the good at the interval.
Moments after the restart it was two. Ceuta were sloppy getting the ball out, but Kessie was not with his interception. Ball into the centre, there was Lewandowski, and that was 2-0.
Ceuta had been all heart to this point, but the two goals brought their confidence tumbling down. Unless they could pull something extraordinary out of the bag, the rest of the game was just going to be a training exercise for a vastly superior Barça.
It was really just a matter of how many more they might score. A brilliant run and an exquisite finish from Ansu Fati made it three, and then Raphinha flopped the ball onto Kessie’s head to make it four.
And right at the end of regulation time, Lewandowski picked up his second goal of the night, and Barça’s fifth.
Attention now turns to Getafe in La Liga this Sunday at 6.30pm CET.