Ruthless Barcelona Routs Hospitalet 9-0 In CupMadrid, Dec 23: Pep Guardiola showed Hospitalet no mercy as the Barcelona coach fielded a full-strength side that demolished the third-tier team 9-0 to reach the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Thursday.While
Madrid, Dec 23: Pep Guardiola showed Hospitalet no mercy as the Barcelona coach fielded a full-strength side that demolished the third-tier team 9-0 to reach the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Thursday.
While Lionel Messi was missing from the Club World Cup champions' starting lineup, the Argentina forward's absence made little difference as Barcelona raced into a 5-0 lead by halftime before netting four more goals after the break to win 10-0 on aggregate.
Guardiola left nothing to chance after four topflight clubs were eliminated in the fourth round on Wednesday.
“One part of me is bold and the other fearful,” Guardiola said. “These types of games fill me with some fear.”
But his decision to field many of his Spain internationals proved costly as Andres Iniesta injured his right thigh, and Cesc Fabregas also appeared be hurt in the second half.
Only four days on from its 4-0 rout of Santos in Japan, Messi was among the handful of regulars rested but Guardiola still opted to include Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Thiago Alcantara, Fabregas, and Iniesta as his team delivered the biggest victory of his coaching career.
“We were jet-lagged and I asked the players to take the game seriously. I didn't know how they would feel today and the game could have easily ended with them winning 1-0,” said Guardiola, who won his 13th trophy from 15 competitions in Japan. “To see how composed these players that have won everything shows why we are so admired and why we are the best team in the world this year.”
Emerging talents like Isaac Cuenca showed just how deep Barcelona's squad is as the speedy winger won two penalties, including Pedro Rodriguez's 11th-minute opener.
Xavi then threaded through to Fabregas, who crossed into the area for Iniesta to tap into the empty goal in the 19th minute.
Guardiola celebrated, but he soon wrapped his hands around his head in worry after Iniesta tangled with goalkeeper Carlos Craviotto. The playmaker came off after half an hour with the injury that will sideline him for at least two weeks.
Thiago scored the first of two goals in the 23rd before Xavi converted Fabregas' lob from inside the area. Guardiola took no risks with the FIFA Golden Ball candidate after that as he substituted Xavi for 20-year-old Cristian Tello in the 39th, and the B-team player had an immediate impact as he scored the first of two goals four minutes after coming on.
Cuenca scored in the 49th before provoking a penalty that Thiago converted in the 54th, and the 20-year-old winger capped the emphatic victory by firing a high shot over Craviatto after Tello had notched his second from an individual effort.
Earlier, Valencia thumped third division side Cadiz 4-0 to advance by the same aggregate scoreline after a scoreless first leg.
Victor Ruiz, Jonas and Roberto Soldado scored first-half goals at the Mestalla stadium to put the hosts in control, and Ever Banega marked his return from injury with a goal in the 69th minute.
Atletico Madrid and Villarreal both fired their coaches after being eliminated by third division clubs on Wednesday, when topflight teams Real Betis and Zaragoza also failed to advance from the fourth round.
Defending champion Real Madrid is among the 16 teams which will be drawn for the next round starting Jan. 4.
Alcorcon, Cordoba, Mirandes and Albacete are the four lower-tier teams left in Friday's draw, with the remaining clubs coming from the first division. They are: Athletic Bilbao, Mallorca, Racing Santander, Real Sociedad, Osasuna, Espanyol, Sevilla, Levante, and Malaga.