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Messi & De Jong Send Barca To Copa Last Eight

Copa del Rey

Result: Rayo Vallecano 1-2 FC Barcelona

Date: 27 January 2021

Venue: Estadio de Vallecas

FC Barcelona progressed to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey after coming from behind to beat second-tier side Rayo Vallecano 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Barca manager Ronald Koeman shuffled the pack, with Lionel Messi returning from his suspension to start alongside Antoine Griezmann and Trincao upfront, while the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Jordi Alba were rested on the bench.

Blaugrana were on the front foot in the early exchanges and Frenkie de Jong came the closest to getting the opener in the 20th minute with a chipped effort over goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski that hit the crossbar.

Rique Puig also came very close to breaking the deadlock for Koeman's charges with ten minutes left of the first stanza after getting a rebound inside the box before his deflected shot hit the woodwork.

Rayo were lucky to still not be a goal down three minutes aftter the break when Messi stunning free-kick from the edge of the box cracked the crossbar.

Howevever, the hosts took a shock lead in the 63rd minute after Alvaro Garcia's cross was tipped into the path of Francisco Garcia, who tapped home into an empty net at the back post.

After De Jong had a goal disallowed for offside for Barca two minutes later, Messi finally levelled matters in the 69th minute with a close-range tap-in at the back post after he was picked out by Griezmann with a teasing cross.

Blaugrana completed the turnaround in the last ten minutes after de Jong fired home a close range effort from Alba's low cross.

The game was still on the edge in the closing minutes, with Barca threatening to kill off the match but in the end, they did enough to win 2-1 and booked their spot in the quarter-finals.

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