Pedro Rodriguez netted a first-half hat-trick as Barcelona crushed third-tier Sociedad Deportiva Huesca 8-1 in the Copa del Rey, while Valencia joined the Catalans in the round-of-16 after an eight-goal thriller with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid on Tuesday.
RC Celta de Vigo and UD Almeria also advanced from a high-scoring night that saw 24 goals in just four matches.
Despite resting Lionel Messi, Neymar and several other starters, Barcelona proved way too much for Huesca to handle at the Camp Nou and had no remorse about piling on the agony after winning the first leg 4-0.
Pedro headed in his first goal in the 20th minute and added a second six minutes later. Sergi Roberto volleyed in Barcelona’s third in the 29th minute, Andres Iniesta struck in the 39th and Pedro got his hat-trick two minutes before halftime.
Adriano and Sandro Ramirez then scored either side of youngster Adama Traore’s first goal for Barcelona’s first team in the 78th minute.
Carlos David scored Huesca’s goal following a corner four minutes from time, steering the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip on his debut for Barcelona.
“It is difficult for me to imagine a better game than this,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.
Barcelona next play either Elche or Real Valladolid.
Valencia twice came back from a two-goal deficit to draw 4-4 with Rayo and secure a 6-5 victory on aggregate.
Spain striker Paco Alcacer opened the scoring at the Estadio Mestalla by finishing off a shot that hit the post in the eighth minute.
Rayo, who had lost 2-1 at home in the first leg, roared back with three goals from Jozabed Sanchez, Alejandro Pozuelo and Jonathan Pereira by the 38th minute.
Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo made three changes at halftime and the payoff quickly arrived when substitute Pablo Piatti’s shot seconds after the break was turned into his own net by Rayo defender Jorge Morcillo to narrow the deficit.
Adrian Embarba put Rayo 4-2 ahead in the 61st minute, but Alcacer scored again by slotting home a rebound that had come off the upright in the 65th, before Rodrigo Moreno completed the comeback five minutes later.
Moreno then received a straight red card for kicking an opponent in the 82nd minute and Valencia managed to hang on in the final minutes.
“We have earned the right to believe in ourselves,” Espirito Santo said.
Emotions also ran high in RC Celta de Vigo’s 3-1 win over UD Las Palmas, where the hosts needed Fabian Orellana to curl in a strike in stoppage-time to secure a 4-3 aggregate victory.
UD Almeria added to the action when Jonathan Zongo netted with a strike from near the halfway line in a 2-1 win over Real Betis Balompie.
Almeria advanced 6-4 on aggregate in coach Juan Ignacio Martinez’s first game in charge.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017