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Andrés Iniesta about to punch the air in a goal celebration last season away to Alavés

Iniesta celebrates one of his goals last season against Alavés / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

This Friday, FC Barcelona will begin the hunt for the Spanish Cup against Second Division B Cartagena

Alavés the last victim

The opening rounds of the Cup have been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Barça.  A year ago, the players coached by Tito Vilanova swept aside Alavés 0-3 in Mendizorrotza and 3-1 in the Camp Nou.  Strangely enough, the match against Alavés also came a few days before a match against Glasgow Celtic.

Four away wins

Under Josep Guardiola, the team won their four away matches in the opening round: L’Hospitalet in the 2011/12 season (0-1 and 1-0), Ceuta in the 2010/11 season (0-2 and 5-1), Cultural Leonesa in 2009/10 (0-2 and 5-0) and Benidorm in 2008/09 (0-1 and 1-0).

More under Rijkaard

Before Guardiola took over, Frank Rijkaard also led his players to success against Alcoyano in 2007/08 (0-3 and 2-2), Badalona in 2006/07 (1-2 and 4-0) and Zamora in 2005/06 (1-3 and 6-0).

However, the Dutch coach wasn’t able to prevent the only elimination from the Cup at the first hurdle.  Then, the round consisted of a single match and Gramenet sized their chance to win 1-0.  Just a year previously, Barça had beaten the same opposition 1-0.

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