Denis Suarez 8/10 in Barcelona's Copa del Rey win over Cultural Leonesa
Barcelona are safely into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey after a 4-1 win over Cultural Leonesa kept them on track to win the competition for a fifth successive season.
Munir El Haddadi opened the scoring early on with further goals from Denis Suarez and Malcom following before the bench.
Third division side Cultural pulled one back through Josep Sene before Denis added his second of the night as the La Liga leaders wrapped up a 5-1 aggregate win to book their place in Thursday's draw.
Goals breed confidence and in that sense Ernesto Valverde will have been pleased to see three fringe players -- Munir, Denis and Malcom -- all on target. It was also a night for the youngsters, with Carles Alena, Juan Miranda, Chumi and Oriol Busquets all handed starts. There was also a second-half cameo for Riqui Puig, who lived up to the hype by supplying the assist for Barca's fourth goal.
Barca ended the game with 10 men as Malcom was unable to finish the 90 minutes after pulling up. With a growing injury list, which currently features Luis Suarez, Sergi Roberto and Arthur Melo, among others, they could do without losing anyone else.
Manager Rating out of 10
7 -- It was the perfect night for Valverde. The result was never in doubt and he will have liked what he saw from his squad players and youngsters, while more senior players, such as Lionel Messi, were able to put their feet up.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jasper Cillesen, 6 -- Made one really good save, only to see Cultural score the rebound. Other than that, had little to do as most of the football was played further up the pitch.
DF Nelson Semedo, 6 -- With the lack of alternative options at right-back, Semedo was forced to play again. Did well -- with some particularly nice touches and runs in the first half -- before being afforded a small rest late on.
DF Chumi, 6 -- Valverde's preferred pick of the Barca B defenders at the moment. Didn't put a foot wrong, first at centre-back and later at right-back.
DF Thomas Vermaelen, 6 -- Made his return from a six-week injury layoff and managed to last the 90 minutes. Will provide precious backup to Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet in the coming weeks with Samuel Umtiti injured.
DF Juan Miranda, 6 -- The only natural backup for Jordi Alba at the club this season. However, while he held his own here, you could see a rawness which is perhaps why Valverde's reluctant to give him more minutes in the league.
MF Oriol Busquets, 6 -- Not related to his namesake, Sergio, but the two do share many similar qualities. Kept it simple at the base of the midfield before being replaced by Puig after the break.
MF Ivan Rakitic, 7 -- A late inclusion in the starting XI after Arturo Vidal dropped out with flu. Wore the captain's armband and produced a strong performance, including a fine cross for Malcom's goal. Taken off for a breather at halftime.
MF Carles Alena, 7 -- Followed up his first La Liga goal at the weekend with a responsible performance here. Was officially promoted to the first team this week and he looks like he has plenty to give.
FW Malcom, 7 -- A night of highs and lows. Grabbed his second goal since joining the club in the summer with a smart header from Rakitic's cross, only to be forced off in the final five minutes.
FW Munir El Hadaddi, 7 -- Opened the scoring with a fine finish but will be disappointed not to have scored more. Missed a good chance to double his tally almost immediately and was denied late on by Jorge Palatsigallego after a smart pass from Alena.
FW Denis Suarez, 8 -- Scored two really good goals and could have scored three or four on another night. However, as good as he was at times against third-tier opposition, you wonder if it will ever be enough to break into Valverde's plans on a regular basis. Still needs to do it against opposition.
MF Sergio Busquets, 6 -- Came on for the second 45 minutes in place of Rakitic. With Barca already in such a commanding position, he never needed to get out of second gear.
MF Riqui Puig, 7 -- The baby-faced 19-year-old came on for his first-team debut and, like on the club's preseason tour of the United States, made a big impression. Comfortable on the ball, he set up Denis' second goal with a brilliant dinked pass.
DF Clement Lenglet, 6 -- Came on late in the game to give Semedo a break, with Chumi switching to right-back.