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Barcelona to face city rival Espanyol in Copa quarterfinals

13 January 2018

Lionel Messi scored twice in the space of three minutes to help Barcelona to a 5-0 win over Celta Vigo on Thursday as the holders advanced to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

It didn't take long for the Brazilian star to appreciate the playing riches on show on the pitch.

Pione Sisto had equalised for Celta after Jose Arnaiz found the net for Barca in the first leg at Estadio de Balaidos; an away-goal that gives Barca a small advantage, although their manager, Ernesto Valverde, won't try to sit back and defend that narrow advantage.

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The German would ultimately take their match in three sets, cruising through the final two sets against the American. In the men's final, Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev beat 18-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Messi then returned the favor by setting up Alba to score past hapless Sergio Alvarez in the Celta goal before Luis Suarez made it 4-0 on the night after 30 minutes, when the Uruguayan burst through the defense.

The Argentinean scored in the 13th and 15th minute following passes from Jordi Alba. They played very very well in their 1-1 in the first leg against Barcelona a week ago, and played just as well in a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid at the weekend.

"It's a luxury to have Leo in the side, he's the best in history", he told Gol Television.

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Alvaro Garcia got second-division Cadiz's consolation goal in the 86th, leading to jeers from Sevilla's home fans for the team's shaky finish to the match.

The semifinals of the competition are scheduled for January 31 (first leg) and February 7 (second leg), while the final will be held on April 21.

The draw for the last eight of the Copa took place on Friday, with Madrid drawn to face Leganes in the first two-legged tie.

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Last season's runners-up Deportivo Alaves will need to overcome a strong Valencia side, who despite their recent dip in form are third in La Liga.

Barcelona to face city rival Espanyol in Copa quarterfinals