Neymar, Messi help Barcelona rout Elche 5-0 in Copa del Rey
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona set aside its off-field troubles and put on a show in which Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored in a 5-0 route of Elche in a Copa del Rey last-16, first-leg match on Thursday.
Neymar opened the scoring from a Suarez cross in the 35th minute. Suarez scored his fourth goal this season when he deftly dribbled past defender Sergio Pelegrin before fooling goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton into diving the wrong way in the 40th.
Neymar was brought down in the penalty area in the 45th — earning defender Enzo Roco a yellow card — and Messi coolly converted it, earning a halftime ovation from fans at the Camp Nou.
Jordi Alba controlled a superbly weighted pass from Messi to beat Tyton with a low shot in the 56th, and moments later Neymar fired a powerful shot that bounced into goal off Pelegrin’s back.
The win eased the tension at Barcelona in a week in which sports director Andoni Zubizarreta was fired, the appeal against a one-year transfer ban was lost, and it fell at Real Sociedad in the Spanish league.
Elsewhere, Kevin Gameiro scored a goal and created another for Sevilla to beat Granada 2-1.
“It was important to win away even though their last-minute goal complicates things for us, I still think it’s a good result,” said forward Gerard Deulofeu. “We’ll have to kill it off at home in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.”
Deulofeu passed to Gamerio whose shot rebounded off the post and landed back in Deulofeu’s path for the first in the 32nd minute.
Granada missed a chance just before halftime when midfielder Manuel Iturra’s cross pinpointed striker Isaac Success on the penalty spot, but Success headed it over the crossbar.
Gameiro took advantage of a defensive mix-up in Granada’s penalty area to tap in Ever Banega’s well-placed free kick in the 53rd.
Lass Bangoura pulled one back in his Granada debut on loan from Rayo Vallecano when his free kick went straight through the defenders’ wall in injury time.
“I’m happy to have scored that goal, although Sevilla was playing very well,” Bangoura said. “We’ve lost and now we’ll have to wait for the return leg.”