Barcelona eased to a comfortable win at Murcia in the Copa del Rey thanks to goals from Paco Alcacer, Gerard Deulofeu and Jose Arnaiz. It was strong performance from the visitors who got to give a host of squad players a game, as well as some youngsters. It also sets the club up to give more players a chance in the second leg at Camp Nou, with Barca having a healthy lead from the first leg.
As expected Ernesto Valverde made a host of changes and we got to see youngsters Alena and Arnaiz from the off. Alena looked bright in the first half, as did Deulofeu, but Murcia had their moments, perhaps understandably given all the changes. Denis Suarez wasted one of Barca’s best chances of the half, smashing the ball over the bar after the Murcia goalkeeper had parried an Alcacer header clear. However, Barca kept pushing and were rewarded just before the break, Deulofeu’s cross headed home by Alcacer to see Barca ahead at the break.
Barca took a little over five minutes to double their lead in the second half. Deulofeu, busy as ever, picking up possession on the edge of the box and beating his man before slipping it past the goalkeeper at his near post. Minutes later and it was 3-0, with Arnaiz grabbing a debut goal in some style. The youngster cut in from the left before thumping a fine finish the goalkeeper. Barca saw the game off pretty comfortably after that and can be pleased to win by a decent margin with a much-changed team.
Murcia: Santomé; Ortiz, Mateos (Ortiz, 76), Orfila, Juanra; Escribano, Llorente (Sanchez, 61), Jordan, Molinero (Chamorro, 66); Nadjib, Elady
Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo, Mascherano, Vermaelen, Digne (Cucurella, 85); Denis Surez, Alena (Roberto, 76), Gomes; Deulofeu (Rakitic, 78), Alcacer, Arnaiz.
Goals: Alcacer (44), Deulofeu (52), Arnaiz (56)