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Last Updated Wednesday April 25 2018 06:10 AM IST

King's Cup: Messi brace sets up Barca's quarterfinal berth

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Lionel Messi Lionel Messi, right, scored twice as King's Cup holders Barcelona moved comfortably into the quarterfinals. Reuters

Barcelona: Lionel Messi scored twice as King's Cup holders Barcelona moved comfortably into the quarterfinals by thrashing Celta Vigo 5-0 at the Camp Nou in their last 16 second leg game on Thursday.

The Argentine and his strike partner Luis Suarez were recalled by Barca coach Ernesto Valverde who put out his strongest team against the Galicians, with the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after last week's game in Vigo.

Messi again showed his special understanding with Jordi Alba by meeting the left-back's low cross first time for the opener in the 13th minute and moments later played a one-two with the Spain international and slammed the ball into the bottom corner.

Alba has set up seven goals for Messi this season in all competitions and Barca's all-time top scorer returned the favor with a curling pass from deep which his teammate slid in to poke inside the near post for the third goal after 28 minutes.

Suarez stretched the lead in the 31st by capitalizing on Pione Sisto's sloppy back pass to score for the fifth game running and Ivan Rakitic completed the rout with a header in the 87th against ex-Barca assistant coach Juan Carlos Unzue's team.

Sevilla defeated fellow Andalusian side Cadiz 2-1 at home for a 4-1 aggregate win, while Espanyol overturned a 2-1 deficit from the first leg by beating Levante 2-0 away to join Barca in Friday's quarterfinal draw.

Read also: More Sports NewsChelsea spurn chances in League Cup stalemate with Arsenal

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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