Barcelona vs. Osasuna  4 - 0


Messi makes selection call

5 January 2012 06:49

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said Lionel Messi made the decision to play in their 4-0 Copa del Rey victory against Osasuna on Wednesday.

Spanish sources had initially claimed that Messi would sit the match out because of flu, but the diminutive Argentine started the match on the bench.

Messi came on in the 59th minute and helped Barca cruise to an emphatic win with two goals, and Guardiola noted that it was the player himself who gave the green light to feature in the match.

"Messi was feeling unwell this morning, he had stomach ache and some fever, so we sent him home," Guardiola told reporters at a post-match news conference.

"I told him to come and watch the match and if he felt fine, he would play. He called me three hours before the game and told me he wanted to play, so I put him on the bench."

"The tie was not over, we were having a good match and I decided to let him play 30 minutes and you know the rest."

"After a break it is never easy to play, but we got off to a great start. We told Messi to warm up in order to warm the crowd up. We had a superb match."

The second leg at Osasuna will be held on January 12.


Copa del Rey wrap: Barca rout Osasuna

5 January 2012 02:07

Barcelona romped to a 4-0 win over Osasuna in the first leg of their fifth round Copa del Rey clash.

Cesc Fabregas and second-half substitute Lionel Messi scored twice to take a firm grip on the cup-tie, with the second leg on January 12.

Fabregas scored his brace in the 14th and 18th minutes before Messi, who was on the bench with the flu, scoring in the 73rd and 90th minutes.

Barca's opener came after Fabregas finished off a fine team move from inside the area after being played in by Xavi.

Xavi continued to dictate from midfield and he was the provider once more as Fabregas scored again four minutes later, chipping over Asier Riesgo and into the top corner from 15 yards.

Messi was introduced on the hour mark as coach Pep Guardiola looked to take a comfortable lead to Osasuna's formidable Reyno de Navarra ground.

It only took Messi 13 minutes to get on the scoresheet however, as he rose highest in a crowded penalty area to emphatically head home Xavi's cross.

The Argentine completed the rout with a curling finish from the edge of the area after Xavi had again unlocked the Osasuna defence with a well-weighted through ball.

Sociedad beat Mallorca 2-0 with Mikel Aranburu scoring after 17 minutes and Imanol Agirretxe adding the second in the 55th minute.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 8 +21 22
2 8 +11 18
3 8 +8 17
4 8 +8 16
5 8 +5 16

Segunda División table

# Team MP D P
1 10 +8 19
2 10 +2 19
3 10 +7 18
4 10 +6 18
5 10 +5 18