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Copa del Rey: SD Huesca 0-4 FC Barcelona: Match Review

Recap of the action from Barcelona's calm 4-0 victory in the Copa del Rey Round of 32 First Leg against Huesca

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

In what was certainly not a vintage showing by Barcelona, the visitors regardless earned a commanding lead before the return leg at the Camp Nou. Goals from four different goalscorers, Ivan Rakitić, Andres Iniesta, Pedro and Rafinha secured a four goal cushion against a spirited Huesca side.






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It was another curious starting XI by Luis Enrique. Not because so many star players were left in Barcelona altogether, that was expected, but because all of Iniesta, Rakitić and Jeremy Mathieu started. The absentees' front was headlined by the criminal omission of Martin Montoya, who was relegated to bench duties with Douglas Pereira starting at right back. Lucho started the match with two Barça B players, Sergi Samper and Munir El Haddadi.

The home side started the match from midfield, but with the massive difference in talent between the two sides Barcelona quickly gained possession and started buzzing around Huesca's penalty area. However, in the early going the Catalans struggled to find space to create a scoring opportunity. Despite the good start, a fortuitous bounce in the 10th minute almost put Huesca in front. Mathieu played a ball back to Marc-Andre ter Stegen who attempted to heave it forward, but struck it right at Guillem Martí. The ball bounced off the Huesca forward, but thankfully for Barcelona, it went wide of the goal.

Barcelona were not fazed by that and quickly went back on the attack and in the 13th minute it was already 1-0 for the visitors. Barça won a free kick about 25 yards from goal, and Rakitić finally got his chance to show how good he is at taking direct free-kicks. The Croat curled a right-footed shot around the wall and out of reach of the goalkeeper for the early lead.

Just three minutes later the lead was doubled. Barcelona went on a quick counter attack after the ball was turned over in midfield. Pedro played the ball to Rakitić on the left side, who supplied a perfect pass to Iniesta 20 yards from goal. Iniesta then rifled the shot to just about the same spot Rakitić did just minutes earlier to make the score 2-0.

That score might suggest dominance by Barcelona, but the game did not look that way as Huesca were very dangerous in attack. Their wingers had speed to burn which often exposed Barcelona's full-backs. In fact, Huesca were arguably the more threatening team over the next 15 minutes of the game as Barça struggled to cope with their speed on counter attacks. The closest the hosts came to scoring was when Guillem received a great cross from the left, one he controlled brilliantly, only to have his low shot kicked out by the right leg of ter Stegen.

Alarm bells might have started sounding after that save, and Barcelona went on a stretch that saw Huesca barely control the ball. First, in the 35th minute, Rafinha went on a lovely run near the penalty box, wining a free-kick 20 yards out. Rakitić again stepped up to take and again he sent a brilliant curler on target, but this time he was denied by Dani Jimenez's right post.

Three minutes later Pedro decided to join in on the scoring with a lovely finish after a sublime Iniesta pass that created the scoring chance in the first place. Barcelona continued to pile on the pressure and could've easily ended the half with a manita, but Munir missed two excellent opportunities

Had it not been for a fantastic 15 minute stretch to end the half, this would've been a very average (at best) showing by Barcelona who at times struggled to contain a third division side. But Barcelona took early chances, weathered a storm and only then started playing some great football, which was still enough for a three goal lead.

Barça started the second half where they ended the first - sitting pretty in Huesca's third, and after just two minutes created their first chance of the half. Douglas made a good play on the right, winning a lot of space and sending a great cross to Munir in the middle, but the youngster again couldn't finish off his chance.

Then, for some reason, Barcelona decided to sit back a bit, which Huesca understood as an invitation to attack. And attack they did. In a matter of minutes the hosts created a couple good looking chances, but the finishing was lacking, as ter Stegen was hardly tested. The Barcelona back-line made ter Stegen's life much easier, doing a good job clearing crosses sent into the area.

Huesca's pressure didn't last long as Barcelona once again took control of the ball into their own hands - but that only limited Huesca to dangerous counter attacks.

In the 63rd minute Luis Enrique made a double substitution, taking two probable starters on Sunday against Espanyol, Mathieu and Rakitić off the pitch. They were replaced by Sergi Roberto and Edgar Ie, the latter of which was making his Barcelona debut.

At this point Barcelona didn't really look all that interesting in the game. The players' movement was lacking speed and possession was lost too easily. With Huesca not coming to the game not trying to "not to lose" it presented ample opportunities for them to threaten to score. The hosts were especially dangerous when attacking down the left side, where they made easy work of Douglas.

But occasionally Barcelona decided to launch an attack, and in the 72nd minute they were able to increase their lead through Rafinha. Samper carried the ball a long way through the middle and found Rafinha in space on the right. The midfielder took a couple steps to the left from where he fired on goal. His shot hit a Huesca defender in its path and but still found its way to the back of the net.

Three minutes later Lucho completed his final substitution with Sandro Ramirez taking the place of the misfiring Munir.

With the game all but decided the tempo of the game dropped even further, but Huesca remained dangerous when they came forward. Over the last ten minutes of the game they created a handful of opportunities to get on the scoreboard, something they deserved after their display. But thanks to some last-ditch blocking by Marc Bartra, good positioning by ter Stegen, and poor finishing by Huesca's players the home crowd was left unrewarded for their support.

It wasn't a pretty game by Barcelona standards, but the visitors will surely go home happy after all but decided the tie before the second leg. Next on the docket for Barça is a difficult home game against rivals Espanyol on Sunday.

Note: With Copa del Rey player stats unavailable there will be no ratings article, hence the old-school Man of the Match form below.

Roll Call:

Roll Call Info
Total comments 438
Total commenters 42
Commenter list Abdul95, Anders Thomassen, AzBlaug, Black&Gold.Forever, Bostjan Cernensek, CifuentesErick, Cule4life, Daxterflames, DevilWithin, First_Cule, JordiBalboa, KiwiBarca, MessiLeftFoot, PG9, Piquénbauer, PlayerFan, Rajesh1101s, Rivens, Som-i-Serem, Steven Cordero, Team Rocket, ThreePar, Timber Dave, Uncharted_Almo, Varungrover, Waje.y, Willis1984, abdulla0207, ade fox, capoerista.fiu, craig00000, david.james, defeaning_silence, ebieymjunior, footballfordoze, hobo_barca, messism, mrs.madridista, msalmanz, robyn_bird96, syredeathtrooper, tilak
Story URLs
# Commenter # Comments
1 KiwiBarca 47
2 Daxterflames 32
3 craig00000 31
4 Anders Thomassen 31
5 Bostjan Cernensek 30
6 ThreePar 30
7 Willis1984 28
8 ade fox 24
9 defeaning_silence 21
10 CifuentesErick 16
11 AzBlaug 15
12 Uncharted_Almo 13
13 Rajesh1101s 10
14 Abdul95 10
15 tilak 9
16 PG9 9
17 Steven Cordero 9
18 syredeathtrooper 7
19 hobo_barca 7
20 msalmanz 7
21 JordiBalboa 5
22 Piquénbauer 5
23 Timber Dave 4
24 capoerista.fiu 4
25 Som-i-Serem 4
26 Team Rocket 4
27 Waje.y 4
28 ebieymjunior 3
29 robyn_bird96 2
30 abdulla0207 2
31 Varungrover 2
32 messism 2
33 First_Cule 2
34 DevilWithin 1
35 footballfordoze 1
36 Cule4life 1
37 Rivens 1
38 mrs.madridista 1
39 MessiLeftFoot 1
40 PlayerFan 1
41 david.james 1
42 Black&Gold.Forever 1

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