#UK Barca kids hit minnows Villanovense for six

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Barcelona's forward Sandro Ramirez (R) clashes with Villanovense's midfielder Curro (L) during a Spanish Copa del Rey match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 2, 2015

Barcelona (AFP) – Sandro Ramirez scored a hat-trick as Barcelona swept aside third-tier Villanovense 6-1 on Wednesday to book their place in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey.

Barca boss Luis Enrique left Lionel Messi out of his 16-man squad, whilst Neymar and Luis Suarez remained on the bench as Barca’s mix of youngsters and veterans proved way too strong for Villanovense after they had held out bravely for a 0-0 draw in the first leg five weeks ago.

Dani Alves’s dipping long range effort which took Villanovense ‘keeper Jose Antonio Fuentes by surprise opened the floodgates after just four minutes.

Ramirez then ended his 12-month wait for a goal with the Barca senior side as he slammed into the roof of the net after capitalising on a fluffed clearance by Fuentes.

Juanfran gave the visitors a moment to savour just before the half hour mark when he fired into the top corner of Jordi Masip’s top right-hand corner to reduce the deficit to a single goal.

However, Ramirez eased any Barca nerves two minutes later with a cool finish from Aitor Cantalapiedra’s pass.

Both Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi failed to score in the two months that they shared deputising for Messi whilst the Argentine was sidelined by a knee ligament injury recently.

But against weaker opposition they showed their potential as El Haddadi headed home Jeremy Mathieu’s cross to make it 4-1.

Ramirez swept home from close range to complete his hat-trick 21 minutes from time and then teed up El Haddadi with a lovely backheel to round off the scoring seven minutes later.

Real Madrid get their Cup campaign underway later on Wednesday when they travel to Cadiz for the first leg of their fourth round tie.

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