Wonderkids Munir and Sandro Ramirez truly stole the show as Barcelona trounced Villanovense 6-1 in the second leg of their Copa del Rey clash.
Barca were held 0-0 by the minnows in the first leg of their bout with the third-tier minnows in Extremadura at the end of October, but were overwhelming favourites to defeat their lower-league opponents in the second leg.
Not only has the form of Luis Enrique’s side been outstanding in recent weeks-with routs against Real Madrid, AS Roma and Real Sociedad-but the Blaugrana were also backed on by their passionate home fans at the enormous Camp Nou, the kind of venue Villanovense don’t visit on a regular basis.
With Luis Enrique playing a second-string side, Villanovense might have smelt the potential for an upset, but it turns out that among his back-up options-young players taking their maiden steps in the game-the Barcelona coach has a handful of superb young talents.
It was an old head, Dani Alves, who opened the scoring in the opening minutes with a long-range thunderbolt:
And Barca doubled their lead less than 20 minutes later when Sandro capitalised on a mistake from goalkeeper Jose Fuentes before finishing calmly. Juanfran Guarnido fired a superb long-range response for the visitors, but any hopes of a comeback by the visitors were ended when Sandro responded immediately.
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The youngster proved that he was just warming up, and demonstrated his arsenal of offensive weapons.
As well as completing his hat-trick, he also set up fellow starlet Munir with a backheel after the latter had opened his account by heading home a cross from Jeremy Mathieu.
Doubtless, the likes of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar will keep Munir, Sandro et al. at bay for some time yet, but Luis Enrique will be fully aware-now more so than ever before-that he has some of the game’s finest young talents waiting in the wings.