Sports

Barcelona Qualifies For King's Cup Quarter-Finals, Courtesy Lionel Messi

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| January 12 , 2018 , 18:39 IST

Barcelona's star footballer Lionel Messi helped his team in reaching the quarter-finals of King's Cup by scoring double against the Celta Vigo and thrashing them by 5-0 at the Nou Camp in their last 16-second leg game on Thursday.

Along with his strike partner Luis Suarez, the Argentine was 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 showcased a great level of understanding with Jordi Alba by meeting the left back's low cross first time for the opener in the 13th minute and playing a one-two with the Spain international moments later and slamming the ball into the bottom corner.

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While Alba set up seven goals for Messi this season in all competitions, he was rewarded when Barca's all-time top scorer curled a pass from deep for him which his team-mate slid in to poke inside the near post for the third goal after 28 minutes.

Suarez stretched the lead in the 31st by capitalising on Pione Sisto's sloppy back pass to score for the fifth game running whereas 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 quarter-final draw.