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Barcelona has completed the semifinal field at the Copa del Rey after outlasting Real Sociedad in a goal-plenty quarterfinal second leg

By Associated Press
January 26, 2017

MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi continued his remarkable form by scoring one goal and playing a role in the other four as Barcelona routed Real Sociedad 5-2 Thursday to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals for the seventh straight season.

Luis Suarez struck twice, with Denis Suarez and Arda Turan also scoring at Camp Nou, as the two-time defending champion easily advanced 6-2 on aggregate.

Barcelona won the first leg 1-0 to end a 10-year winless streak at Sociedad's Anoeta Stadium.

The other three teams that advanced were Atletico Madrid, Alaves and Celta Vigo, which eliminated Real Madrid on Wednesday. The semifinal draw takes place Friday.

Messi scored his sixth goal in seven games this year by converting a 55th-minute penalty kick.

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He helped set up Denis Suarez' opening goal in the 17th and Luis Suarez's first goal in the 63rd, and also started the plays that led to Turan's goal in the 81st and Denis Suarez's second goal almost immediately afterward.

Messi has netted 10 goals in his last 10 games with Barcelona, and 15 goals in the last 15 matches. He already has 29 goals in 27 games this season.

The Argentina playmaker calmly converted the penalty kick with a low, left-footed shot into the right corner after Neymar was fouled inside the area.

Real Sociedad later scored through Juanmi Jimenez in the 62nd and Willian Jose in the 73rd.

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Barcelona will play in the semifinals for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, failing to make it to the last four in 2009-10.

The Catalan club reached the Copa final in six of the last eight seasons—including the last three in a row—and won four of those finals.

Real Sociedad's lone Copa title was in 1987.

Barcelona played without key midfielders Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets because of injuries. Coach Luis Enrique improvised with defender Javier Mascherano, who played midfield earlier in his career. Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes also played in midfield, with the trio of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez up front as usual.

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