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All business for Barcelona: Lewandowski & Raphinha help Spanish giants squash Ceuta in Copa del Rey

01:06 GMT+4 20/01/2023
Robert Lewandowski Barcelona Copa del Rey 2022-23
Raphinha opened the scoring and Robert Lewandowski struck twice as Barcelona breezed past third-tier Ceuta into the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
  • Raphinha scored and assisted
  • Lewandowski, Fati and Kessi on scoresheet
  • Barca comfortably into quarter-finals

TELL ME MORE: Despite claiming his side had been "lucky" with the last-16 draw, Xavi pulled no punches with his starting line-up on Thursday. From a star-studded front three it was Raphinha who struck first - and it wasn't as if Ceuta hadn't been warned. After several wasted opportunities, the Brazilian made the home side pay with a fine strike from the edge of the box. The weak wrists of Ceuta goalkeeper Tomas Mejias helped it on its way, but centre-back Robin Lafarge offered an even bigger gift minutes after the break.

The lackadaisical pass out from the back found the feet of Franck Kessie, who laid it on a plate for Lewandowski to make it 2-0. Barca's control became total when second-half substitute Ansu Fati was allowed to slalom through the Ceuta defence to make it three. Raphinha then turned provider for Kessie who headed home Barca's fourth, before Lewandowski stroked home his second and his side's fifth in the dying embers.

THE MVP: Raphinha loves the Copa del Rey, doesn't he? The Brazilian was Barca's hero in the last round, coming off the bench to score and assist in the nervy 4-3 victory over third-tier Intercity. The Brazilian added another goal and assist to that tally on Thursday, helping to quieten any critics over his stuttering start to life in Spain. Yes, he will face tougher opposition than Ceuta, but his energy and constant threat bode well for Barca's hectic schedule coming up - and two contributions will go a long way too. Raphinha promised Sunday's Supercopa de Espana win would be the first of many, and Thursday's performance has certainly kept that dream alive.

THE BIG LOSER: Barcelona's scare in the last round was proof that there is nothing more dangerous than a one-goal lead. Like Intercity two weeks ago, Ceuta could have come out all guns blazing in the second half, but Lafarge's horrendous error put paid to that. The experienced Frenchman had barely put a foot wrong until that moment, and even had his goalkeeper to blame for Barca's first. But his misdirected pass couldn't have come at a worse time, initially knocking the stuffing out of the home side who capitulated as the game wore on.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? After a duo of cup matches, Barcelona will turn their attention to maintaining their three-point advantage in the league when they host Getafe on Sunday.

MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE):