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Denis Suarez brace propels Barcelona into Copa del Rey round of 16

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Denis Suarez scored twice as defending champions Barcelona thrashed Cultural Leonesa 4-1 to progress into last 16 of Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

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Coming to the fixture, on the back of a narrow 0-1 lead away from home, Barca needed just 18 minutes to open the scoring when Munir El Haddadi slammed the net to complete a slick team move.

Clement Lenglet had headed the La Liga champions to a scrappy 1-0 win against the third-tier opponents in the first leg. But at home, the Blaugrana outfits looked a different side and needed another eight minutes to double their lead.

Suarez, who has hardly played this season, curled a wonderful shot into the net before Malcolm headed a third from an Ivan Rakitic cross in the 43rd minute.

But the victory was marred by an injury to the Brazilian, who appeared to have suffered a late injury and was forced to march off as the home side played with 10 men for the final few minutes of the match.

Barcelona also played with a reserve side against Cultural Leonesa with key players such as Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique rested ahead of Saturday’s Catalan derby against Espanyol. Luiz Suarez, Sergio Roberto, and Samuel Umtiti are already sidelined with injuries.

Cultural pulled one goal back through Josep Sene in the 54th minute but promising star Riqui Puig assisted Suarez for the fourth goal with a wonderful dink above the opposition defence.

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