Barça ease past Osasuna in Copa
Barcelona moved a step closer to a possible Copa del Rey quarter-final showdown with Real Madrid after winning the first leg of their last-16 tie 4-0 over Osasuna at the Nou Camp tonight.
Barça had defeated Osasuna 8-0 at home in La Liga back in September and the Pamplona-based side must have feared another mauling when Cesc Fabregas netted twice in the opening 18 minutes - the second a superb chip.
As it was, a strong Barcelona side added two more goals from Lionel Messi, who climbed off the bench to net in the 72nd and 90th minutes. The Argentinian's first goal was a close-range header and the second was a fine curling effort from the edge of the box, taking his tally to 31 goals in all competitions this season.
With RealMadrid fighting back from 2-0 down to beat Malaga 3-2 in their first leg last night, the two Spanish giants remain on course for a repeat of last season's final - which Jose Mourinho's side won 1-0 - in the last eight of this season's competition.
In tonight's other last-16 first leg, Real Sociedad continued their recent run of good form with a 2-0 home win over Real Mallorca.
Sociedad, who have climbed away from the foot of the La Liga table on the back of a five-match unbeaten run, took the lead through Mikel Aranburu in the 17th minute and Imanol Agirretxe added the second nine minutes into the second half.