FC 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 side Hercules on Wednesday.
After being held to a stunning 1-1 draw in the first leg, a hat trick from Turkish international 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.