FC Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol: 5 Talking Points
Messi and Suarez combine to guide Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey
Barcelona eased into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey for the fifth year running as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi overturned their 1-0 deficit from the first leg.
It took only nine minutes for the holders to drive ahead, as El Pistolero headed home Aleix Vidal's inch-perfect cross to level with Espanyol on aggregate. The home side's continued high-pressing then yielded another one before the half-hour mark as Messi rifled home from the edge of the box - albeit with the help of a slight deflection.
The Periquitos, who held their mighty city rivals with aplomb last week, lacked the spark this time around as they never really threatened to derail Barcelona's hopes of more silverware.
Here's 5 talking points from Barcelona's 2-0 victory:
#5 Barcelona do what is written on the tin
Even after the 1-0 defeat in the first leg, the chatter about a surprise exit from the competition was never really heard beyond whispers. With the margin of only a goal, everyone knew Barcelona had it within their capability to overcome that narrow deficit, not least in the home leg.
Suarez's early strike served to effectively pacify all pre-match worries and proved only the beginning for them too. The hosts were in the driving seat throughout, with the resilient Espanyol of last week seemingly nowhere to be seen.
Easily beaten on the ball and effortlessly carved open, the league leaders held their crosstown rivals by the throat. With 13 shot attempts, it justifies their dominance in the final third.
If they were more clinical, they would have enjoyed a more comfortable victory in truth - but promising chances went begging and they were made to play smart in the latter stages, avoiding an unlikely Espanyol revival late on. Ultimately though, they got the job done and you cannot ask for much more than that.