Defending champions Barcelona advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2015-16 Copa del Rey on Wednesday after defeating Espanyol 2-0 in the second leg of their round-of-16 encounter to seal a 6-1 aggregate victory.
The Blaugrana are joined in the last eight by Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Las Palmas, who overcame respective opponents Cadiz, Villarreal and Eibar to make it through to the next phase of the competition.
Munir El Haddadi netted his second Copa del Rey brace of the season, firing two past derby opponents Espanyol. Meanwhile, an error-strewn performance from Eibar saw them fall out of the competition as Las Palmas sealed a 3-2 victory on the night, winning 6-4 on aggregate.
In-form striker Inaki Williams scored the only goal for Athletic Bilbao as they put the final touches on a 4-2 aggregate win over Villarreal, while Celta rarely looked troubled in a 2-0 win at home to Cadiz, triumphing 5-0 over two legs.
Read on for recap and reaction to Wednesday's round-of-16 results as this season's Copa del Rey saw four more teams fall out of the running.
|Wednesday's Copa del Rey Round of 16, Second Leg Results|
|Celta Vigo||2-0 (5-0)||Cadiz|
|Villarreal||0-1 (2-4)||Athletic Bilbao|
|Las Palmas||3-2 (6-4)||Eibar|
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique unsurprisingly chose to rest several of his usual starters for the trip to Espanyol on Wednesday, and El Haddadi grasped the chance with both hands.
Two days after picking up his fifth Ballon d'Or in Zurich, Lionel Messi teed the 20-year-old up on the left side of the home outfit's six-yard box for a simple finish.
There was a suggestion of offside in Barca's second as newly registered Aleix Vidal crossed low from the left for El Haddadi to grab a second, but Espanyol couldn't argue in the face of such a convincing defeat.
The Copa del Rey has provided prodigious forward El Haddadi with his biggest chances in Enrique's first-team plans this season, and OptaJose attested to how well he's taken them thus far:
Typical of a Barcelona player, El Haddadi proclaimed that while he was happy with a two-goal contribution, the team's performance was the most important factor, per the club's official Twitter account:
Athletic youngster Williams was on target in the first-leg win over Villarreal and netted his fourth in six games on Wednesday thanks to a coolly taken finish in the 21st minute at El Madrigal.
The second leg proved to be a far-cry from the five-goal thriller at San Mames last Wednesday, and Williams' finish separated the two teams at the final whistle.
Athletic were hardly holding on for the result by the end, and the Guardian's Sid Lowe even suggested they looked capable of adding a second:
Las Palmas replicated the 3-2 victory they sealed at Ipurua in their first-leg collision against Eibar and eased the Basque outfit out of this season's cup contest thanks to goals from Momo and David Garcia.
A comical own-goal finish from David Junca put the hosts ahead, and Eibar actually looked like turning the clash around following second-half strikes from Borja Ekiza and Sergi Enrich. That was until Las Palmas turned on the flair to make sure their away goals counted for nought, scoring twice in the final 30 minutes to advance.
Following a 3-0 win at Cadiz in the first leg, Celta Vigo needed only to put the finishing touches on their clash with the third-tier side, but it took Wednesday's hosts longer than expected to build on their aggregate lead.
However, summer signing John Guidetti helped ease the tension by putting his side 1-0 up from the penalty spot after 35 minutes to all but put any chance of advancing beyond the travelling outfit. The match finished 2-0, with Dejan Drazic adding the second.