Barca cruise into last 16Agence France-Presse . Madrid
La Liga leaders Barcelona comfortably secured their place in the last-16 of the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win over third-tier Cartagena on Tuesday, to seal a 7-1 win on aggregate.
Cartagena threatened to embarrass their illustrious hosts when Zurdo struck the post midway through the first-half.
However, any hopes the visitors had of a famous victory were quashed when Pedro neatly swept home Martin Montoya’s cross for his third goal of the tie.
Without a host of regular starters, Barca struggled to create clear-cut openings all evening but they were gifted a second goal 23 minutes from time when Mariano Martinez turned Cristian Tello’s cross into his own net.
And Neymar rounded off the scoring with his sixth goal in his last three games when he headed home Andres Iniesta’s cross three minutes from time.
Martino surprised many by playing Neymar for the full 90 minutes when many of his senior team-mates were handed a rest.
However, the Argentine said the 21-year-old will return to Brazil on Thursday for 10 days holiday as he is suspended for Sunday’s final game before the winter break away to Getafe.
‘He won’t play on Sunday so tonight was an opportunity to give him the 90 minutes.
‘He’s going to Brazil on Thursday. He hasn’t had a break since the Confederations Cup so it is good to give him a few extra days.’
And Martino also confirmed that he expects the injured Lionel Messi and Victor Valdes to be back training in Barcelona along with Neymar on January 2.
‘During the two training sessions on the second we hope to have all the
players back together, including those that are continuing to recover like Leo and Victor.’
Barca will also face Getafe in the last 16 after the Madrid side thrashed Girona 4-1 to secure their place in the next round by the same score on aggregate.
Osasuna, fresh from their 2-2 draw against Real Madrid on Saturday, will face Los Blancos again in January should Madrid overcome Olimpic Xativa on Wednesday as the Navarrans progressed on away goals after a 1-1 draw at home to Malaga on Tuesday.
Levante hammered Recreativo Huelva 4-0 to also progress 4-1 on aggregate, but the upset of the evening came from second division Alcorcon who overcame a 2-0 first-leg deficit to beat Granada 5-4 on penalties.
comments powered by Disqus
The Bangladesh Cricket Board invited top clubs of the Dhaka Premier League to play in a Twenty20 tournament after it failed to woo the corporate houses amid political chaos, officials said on Wednesday. The BCB had planned... Full story
Virat Kohli tamed South AfricaÃ¢€™s fast bowlers with a stroke-filled century as India reached 208 for four in 72 overrs on the first day of the first Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Wednesday. Kohli, filling the number four batting... Full story
In a country criss-crossed by more than 230 rivers, swimming might be expected to be one of the major sports for Bangladesh, but it is not. Of the 63 gold medals Bangladesh has earned from 11 South... Full story
Leading female swimmer Mahfuza khatun Shila turned out to be a professional swimmer by chance, as she had grown with aspirations of becoming a top-level track and field athlete. It was only when she got... Full story
EnglandÃ¢€™s senior players are facing tough questions over their international careers after flopping badly in the embarrassing Ashes defeat to Australia. While major changes are unlikely mid-series, some players... Full story
European champions Bayern Munich booked their place in the Club World Cup final with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande in TuesdayÃ¢€™s semi-final in Agadir. Goals by France winger Franck Ribery, CroatiaÃ¢€™s... Full story
South KoreaÃ¢€™s Ki Sung-yueng stunned Chelsea as the Sunderland midfielderÃ¢€™s first goal for the club sealed a shock 2-1 win in the League Cup quarter-finals, while Manchester City swept into the last four with a 3-1 victory at Leicester on Tuesday. Full story
Pope Francis warmly greeted players from his favourite football team San Lorenzo after a general audience in St PeterÃ¢€™s Square on Wednesday, following their victory in the national championship in Argentina. Full story
La Liga leaders Barcelona comfortably secured their place in the last-16 of the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win over third-tier Cartagena on Tuesday, to seal a 7-1 win on aggregate. Cartagena threatened to embarrass their illustrious hosts... Full story
BarcelonaÃ¢€™s run to the Champions League final in May 2009 triggered a surge in local births, but rather less than commonly believed, researchers said on Tuesday. Some media have said the birth rate in Catalonia rose by an astonishing... Full story
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed his star striker Sergio Aguero could be out of action for longer than expected. Pellegrini had previously said he expected Aguero to be out for up to four weeks after he suffered a calf injury in... Full story
Spray only works if refs get distance right The vanishing spray used by referees to stop defensive walls creeping forward at free-kicks will only work if they measure the distance correctly, Guangzhou Evergrande coach Marcello... Full story
Kevin DurantÃ¢€™s 30 points helped the Oklahoma City Thunder power past the Denver Nuggets 105-93, notching a seventh straight win to keep them within a game of the NBA Northwest Division lead on Tuesday. Full story
The European Commission on Wednesday launched an investigation into seven Spanish football clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, after complaints they accepted illegal state aid. The Commission said it was... Full story