Two goals in two first-half minutes from Ousmane Dembele helped Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Levante which sent them through to the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals.
Barca were surprisingly trailing 2-1 from last week’s first leg, but they turned it around at the Nou Camp with a 4-2 aggregate success, thanks to Dembele’s quickfire double and a Lionel Messi effort.
They were the Frenchman’s 11th and 12th goal of the season, while Messi bagged for an impressive 49th time in this competition – the joint second highest of any Barca player.
Despite their first-leg deficit, which came after fielding a weakened side, there was little doubt Barca would progress after Messi was named in the starting XI.
The Argentinian was the first to test Aitor Fernandez in the Levante goal after 15 minutes, but the goalkeeper was equal to a wicked free-kick.
Messi again went close, just drifting a shot across goal, before Levante’s luck eventually ran out.
On the half-hour mark Messi ghosted forward and played in Dembele, who was the beneficiary of an outrageous piece of fortune as the ball rebounded off his shin following an excellent tackle from a Levante defender.
Little over 60 seconds later, Dembele was celebrating again as he put Barcelona in front on aggregate.
The Levante defence went missing as Messi again notched an assist, playing Dembele through on goal and he enjoyed some more luck.
He rounded Aitor and his scuffed shot appeared to be heading wide before deflecting in off the helpless visiting goalkeeper.
Any hopes Levante had of a comeback disappeared nine minutes after the restart.
Nelson Semedo got the ball on the right and he played in Messi, who slotted home with consummate ease from inside the penalty area to make it 3-0.
The goal took him to 49 in the Copa Del Rey for Barcelona, second behind Jose Samitier on 64.
Dembele almost got a hat-trick, but his effort went just wide as Barcelona chased some late joy.
Luis Suarez was introduced and wanted some of the action but his cute chip was just saved by the back-pedalling Fernandez.
The Uruguayan then saw a goalbound shot hit Coke flush in the face as he was frustrated once again.
Levante had the final piece of action as Boateng hit the post at the death, but Barca were through.
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