Gerard Deulofeu stars as Barcelona win at Murcia in Copa del Rey
Murcia 0 - 3 Barcelona.

Gerard Deulofeu stars as Barcelona win at Murcia in Copa del Rey

24/10/2017

Gerard Deulofeu had a goal and an assist and Jose Arnaiz scored on his senior debut as Barcelona secured a comfortable 3-0 win in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie against Real Murcia at Estadio Nueva Condomina.

Ernesto Valverde had made the expected sweeping changes, but after some early pressure from the hosts, the La Liga leaders broke the deadlock just before half-time through Paco Alcacer.

Gerard Deulofeu added a second in the 52nd minute before 22-year-old winger Arnaiz netted an angled drive after cutting in from the left.

Valverde, who takes his side to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, opted to make full use of his squad.

Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen made his first appearance of the season, while there were also starts for Barcelona B players Carles Alena and Jose Arnaiz as well as Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen, while Javier Mascherano captained the side.

Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Sergi Roberto were among the substitutes should some more experience be needed.

The home side, who are 16th in the Segunda B Group 4 table, had made a positive start and in the 11th minute saw Pedro Orfila shoot wide following a free-kick.

Murcia threatened again on the half-hour, this time Fernando Llorente firing over from close range after Nadjib Montes had got away down the left.

It was, though, Barcelona who broke the deadlock just before half-time when Deulofeu floated the ball across to Alcacer, who headed into the corner.

The LaLiga leaders doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half.

Deulofeu, who scored of a controversial opening goal against Malaga on Saturday after the ball had gone out of play in the build-up, barged through the Murcia penalty area and rolled the ball into the far corner.

Before Murcia could regroup, Barcelona were further ahead only four minutes later.

Winger Arnaiz, 22, collected the ball out on the left before cutting inside to slash a drive past goalkeeper Alex Santome.

Murcia substitute Salva Chamorro almost got on the end of a cross from captain Elady as the home side pressed for a late consolation.

Cillessen made a smart block from Elady, before at the other end Santome saved from Denis Suarez and then Alcacer as Barcelona closed out a comfortable win.

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