Barcelona crusied to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey after smashing five goals past Spanish third tier side Real Murcia at the Nou Camp.
Ernesto Valverde fielded a largely second sting side consisting of Barcelona B and some fringe players. But, even they weren’t troubled by what Real Murcia had to offer on the night and they absolutely smashed their visitors, with five different players getting on the scoresheet.
The crowd assembled at the Nou Camp were treated to the talent of their youngsters and they, and Valverde will undoubtedly be pleased by what they saw. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over the men that eased to victory on Wednesday.
Jasper Cillessen: 7
The opposition had no shots on target out of the 6 shots they attempted, so the Dutchman really didn’t have much to do on a quiet night. Only had to distribute the ball.
Nelson Semedo: 8
Had a solid game at the back and going forward, he got an assist by setting Aleix Vidal for Barcelona’s third goal of the night. Semedo seemed to spend most of the game in the opposition half. A fine display from the Portuguese defender.
Gerard Pique: 8
Like the rest of his defence, Pique was barely troubled, which allowed him to be more involved going forward. Got a goal and distributed well from the back. He was taken off just before the hour mark, which would have helped him get some rest while also giving David Costas some valuable first-team minutes.
Thomas Vermaelen: 6
The Belgian international had a good game at the heart of defence. An easy night for the former Arsenal man. He was good in the air and distributed well, but was troubled far too little to deserve a higher rating. Barely broke a sweat. Good game to continue easing back into action.
Lucas Digne: 7
Another player who didn’t have too much to do defensively, but he was good going forward. A solid display at the back, highlighted by 4 interceptions, more than anyone else in a Barcelona shirt and he put in a lot of crosses. Almost got rewarded for a fine performance with a goal as well.
Oriol Busquets: 7
What a game from the youngster. The youngster was dominant in the air, distributed the ball well and there were flashes of skill comparable to those of Sergio Busquets. Overall, a very promising game given that he is only 18 years of age.
Carles Alena: 7
Contibuted well in both attack and defence. The academy graduate maintained a 93% passing accuracy, matched only by Busquets and completed a fair few tackles. A decent display from the youngster, who seemed to have a good understanding with his teammates, but couldn’t contribute to any goals directly.
Denis Suarez: 8
Scored his side’s 4th goal, and set up the fifth for Arnaiz. A very good performance from the Spaniard, who has struggled to find minutes this season. He also completed more passes and take ons than anyone else on the pitch. Owned midfield on the night and dictated the game very well.
Aleix Vidal: 8
Arguably the man of the match. Vidal’s season has once again been hampered by injuries and he needed a performance like this to get his confidence up. He started by assisting Pique’s goal before getting one of his own. Completed 3 take ons and created 3 chances for his teammates. An extremely positive outing for the 28-year-old.
Paco Alcacer: 8
The Spaniard continued his good form by finding the back of the net once again against Real Murcia with a cool header. High in confidence, but saw far lesser of the ball than he would have liked. Deserves more 3minutes with the first team.
Gerard Deulofeu: 7
The former Evertonian wasn’t directly involved in any of the goals and that will undoubtedly disappoint him. Was quieter than the rest of his teammates, but not for a lack of effort. He did complete 6 take ons over the course of the game, but had nothing to show for it in the end.
Sergi Roberto: 7
Set up Denis Suarez’s goal 12 minutes after being introduced. Hasn’t gotten to play in midfield too often over the course of this season and the last, so made the most of his time on the pitch after coming on for Oriol Busquets, keeping the midfield energetic.
David Costas: N/A
Brought on for Gerard Pique early in the second half, just under the hour mark. But, he barely had anything to do as Barcelona hoarded possession, although he did decently and it’ll be a memorable debut for the youngster.
Jose Arnaiz: 8
Came on in the 63rd minute and wasted no time getting into the thick of things. Arnaiz tried to get involved with proceedings as much as possible, and it was a superb display from the youngster, who scored the fifth goal with a sublime finish, his second against Real Murcia in as many games.