Barcelona Routs Leganes, Reaches Copa Del Rey Quarterfinals in Messi's 500th Win

Publish date:

MADRID (AP) – Barcelona halted its struggles under new coach Quique Setien by routing Leganes 5-0 and advancing to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals on Thursday.

Antoine Griezmann and Clement Lenglet scored first-half goals before Lionel Messi netted two and Arthur added another after the break as Barcelona reached the last eight of the Copa for the 10th straight year.

Setien fielded a strong lineup after resting Messi and other regular starters in the previous round, when it barely avoided elimination thanks to two late goals by Griezmann against third-division club Ibiza.

Setien was under pressure because of the team's lackluster performances since he took over from Ernesto Valverde this month. Barcelona was coming off a 2-0 loss at Valencia, a result that cost the team the Spanish league lead.

The Catalan club was in control from the start against Leganes, though, creating a series of chances and rarely being threatened by its relegation-threatened opponent. Leganes sits second-to-last in the Spanish league standings.

Griezmann opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game with a shot from close range after a pass by Nelson Semedo, and defender Clement Lenglet added to the lead with a header from a corner taken by Messi in the 28th. 

Messi scored from inside the area in the 59th and 89th minutes, while substitute Arthur netted in the 78th.

Griezmann had a goal disallowed for offside shortly after his opener at the less-than-packed Camp Nou Stadium.

Barcelona last failed to reach the Copa quarterfinals in 2009-10, when it was eliminated by Sevilla in the round of 16. The Catalan club was runner-up to Valencia last year.

Valencia and Real Madrid advanced to the last eight on Wednesday. The defending champion eliminated third-division club Cultural Leonesa on penalties and Madrid routed second-division club Zaragoza 4-0.

The Copa del Rey is being playing in single-elimination games this season, except in the semifinals.

The draw for next week's quarterfinals will be on Friday.