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Barcelona reserves run riot over Hercules

Associated Press logo Associated Press 21/12/2016 Tales Azzoni

Barcelona's reserves got the job done at the second attempt, leading the Catalan club to the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey with a 7-0 rout of third-division Hercules.

After being held to a stunning 1-1 draw in the first leg, a hat trick from Arda Turan helped the second-stringers to a comfortable victory at Camp Nou.

The defending champions got off to a slow start, but the game opened up after defender Lucas Digne got on the board with a shot from inside the area in the 37th minute.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic added to the lead by converting a penalty just before halftime, and Rafinha, Turan and Paco Alcacer scored in the second half.

Alcacer's goal was his first in a competitive match since joining Barcelona this season. He had netted in a friendly last week.

"We had to be patient," Rakitic said. "After the first goal, everything was easier."

Despite the first-leg setback, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique stuck to the reserves and gave some extra time off to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Gerard Pique after they played in the team's last league game of 2016 at the weekend.

Turan, Rakitic, Rafinha and Javier Mascherano were the only seasoned players starting against Hercules on Wednesday, which marked the team's final game of the year.

The Copa del Rey will resume in the first week of January.

With hat tricks by Luciano Vietto and Ben Yedder, Sevilla routed fourth-division club 9-1 Formentera to advance 14-2 on aggregate.

Valencia ended the year giving its fans some reason to celebrate by beating Leganes 2-1 for a 5-2 victory on aggregate.

EIBAR 3, SPORTING GIJON 1

Eibar defeated Sporting Gijon 3-1 to reach the next round 5-2 on aggregate, with striker Kike Garcia scoring his two goals in similar fashion - less than a minute into the first half and again less than a minute into the second.

Osasuna defeated Granada 2-0 to advance 2-1 on aggregate in a matchup between the bottom clubs in the first division of the Spanish league.

In La Coruna, Deportivo went through with a 3-2 win on aggregate after beating Real Betis 3-1.

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