Lionel Messi brace puts FC Barcelona in Copa del Rey quarterfinals

Lionel Messi brace puts FC Barcelona in Copa del Rey quarterfinals

Lionel Messi brace puts FC Barcelona in Copa del Rey quarterfinals

Barcelona didn't get the result they wanted in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie against Celta Vigo, and they'll need to be much better in the second leg if they want to advance to the quarterfinal round.

Messi not only scored two in the first half as Barca eased 4-0 clear at the break at the Camp Nou, but he also played in Jordi Alba for his side's third goal with sublime accuracy.

Alba had provided the assists for Messi's strikes in the 13th and 15th minutes, and the Barcelona star returned the favor by setting up the left back to score in the 28th.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde chose to rest Gerard Pique at halftime and took Leo Messi off just before the hour mark to give Ousmane Dembele further gametime following his injury.

Ousmane Dembele set up the fifth goal of the night three minutes from the end when his corner was headed home from close range by an unmarked Ivan Rakitic.

Real Madrid will face Leganes while Barcelona will face their district rival, Espanyol.

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"It's luxury to have Leo in the side; he's the best in history".

"Personally, I think it's great to play with him, and we always look for each other".

The first legs of the quarter-finals will take place on Wednesday and Thursday next week, with the return legs scheduled for a week later on January 24 and January 25.

Leganes from the Madrid suburbs were pitted against 19-time Cup winners Real in yesterday's draw having progressed to the last eight on away goals in their two-legged last 16 tie against Villarreal on Thursday.

The two La Liga giants both secured their progression from the last-16, with Barca seeing off the challenge of Celta Vigo while Madrid shot down Numencia.

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