COPE DEL REY
Barcelona 5-0 Real Murcia player ratings Copa del Rey: Vidal steals the show
Ernesto Valverde's side were in little trouble of conceding three at the Camp Nou against Real Murcia but struggled to ever really break down the visitor's defense in the first half despite their dominance. Their possession eventually paid off as they knocked four past the Segunda B side in the second half with the help of an excellent Aleix Vidal and dangerous Denis Suárez.
Cillessen - 7
No shots on goal for Real Murcia meant the Dutch keeper was never in danger of conceding a goal. Came off his line when needed and made himself available on the rare ocassion that Real Murcia pressed high and put Barca under pressure.
Semedo - 7
Some good link up play with Vidal and Aleña when he pulled over from the centre but was rarely asked to do much by way of defending. Comfortable performance.
Vermaelan - 7
Has a decent rapport with Piqué and will be delighted to get another game under his belt. Never really a question as to whether he could play or not but fitness issues constantly derail the defender. If he can stay fit, he be could stake a claim to become Valverde's third central defender. A massive IF though.
Piqué - 7.5
At times, seemed slightly bored, and wanted to look for the long and incisive pass. This might be something required of him by Valverde but might find himself in trouble in future with this style. Got a goal and taken off after an hour with little else of note to report.
Digne - 7
Does most of what Jordi Alba does defensively but is not as much of a goal threat. He was somewhat threatening in the first half but sat further back in the second half. Hardly troubled.
Suárez - 8
Might have liked to be more attacking and seemed to take on that role in the second half with a beautiful finish and a couple of lovely runs into the heart of Real Murcia's defense. Comfortable as the eight in midfield but got dragged out of position at times with Oriol Busquets too new and inexperienced to fill in as required. Luckily, nothing came from it, but has to be more imposing in future in that position. Showed his class going forward though when the game opened up and his goal was a thing of beauty.
Oriol Busquets - 7.5
Showed off some excellent passing ability but was quiet on the night. Those flashes of potential will suffice for now as it was his debut and he is just 18. Showed some of the skills his namesake, Sergio Busquets, has displayed for over a decade in the Barca shirt with his languid but controlled style.
Deulofeu - 6.5
A lone ranger and, at times, a one-trick pony. He was on a mission to score and that seemed to cloud his decision making. Nothing new really for Deulofeu, who seems to be a frustrated figure at the club at the moment. Needs more nuance in his game to really keep defenders on their toes and had a golden opportunity to score in the second half only to see his heavy touch roll into the keeper's gloves.
Aleña - 7.5
Nifty footwork and always thinking a step ahead but failed to really impose himself on the game and needs to be more of a threat from the number 10 position. The combinations between himself and Alcácer few and far between and while he looks the part, needs more end product than what he showed. Not a bad display at all, but needs to do more.
Vidal - 8.5
Enjoyed himself in a freer role and was expressive throughout. He was involved in the first goal and roamed from right to left and found himself in good positions. Assisted for Piqué's goal and scored himself. Named captain on the night and was playing with the freedom of a man who enjoys that responsibility and trust. Not in the same mould as Sergi Roberto but could replace him as a utility man in the squad if ever needed.
Alcacer - 7
Finished the goal with a cool head and worked hard. He needs to do more to usurp Luis Suárez as working hard in defense is one thing that the Uruguyuan has no problem with. Might have opened the game up more if he was a presence in the penalty area but didn't see much of the ball, which could be caused by lack of movement or lack of decent supply. Regardless, he needs to do more to really convince and was never really hungry for a second goal one he got the first.
Jose Arnaiz - 7.5
Was heavily involved during his cameo. He scored one and could have had another. He also should have had a penalty. Has been doing it for Barca B in the Segunda all year and brought that form into the first team. Slowly but surely convincing Valverde of his worth and should be called up more frequently as required.
Sergi Roberto - 7.5
A lovely assist for Denis Suárez and Barca will be delighted to have their utility man back. He was growing into his role at right-back when he got injured and missed a number of weeks but picked up where he left off during his brief spell on the field on Wednesday night. The game had opened up at the point when he came on but still promising to see him influence the game so much from the bench.
David Costas - 7
No news definitely a case of good news for the defender. He replaced Piqué with the game as good as done and with Real Murcia incapable of getting out of their own half. Solid, not spectacular and never needed to be anything else.