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Barcelona hit 7 past Gary Neville's Valencia
Luis Suárez scored four and Lionel Messi notched up another hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Gary Neville's Valencia 7-0 in Wednesday night's Copa del Rey semi-final.
Valencia's five-game unbeaten run in the cup competition came to a sudden halt as Suárez scored twice in the opening 12 minutes of the semi-final first leg, before Messi added a third just before the half-hour mark.
Valencia's cause was not helped when defender Shkodran Mustafi was shown a red card for fouling Messi in the penalty area in the first half. Neymar missed from the spot, but the massacre continued after the break with Messi scoring his 500th career goal in the 59th minute with a low shot past Matt Ryan before completing his hat-trick 15 minutes later.
Suárez had a hat-trick of his own seven minutes from time before rounding off the rout with his 35th goal this season to make it a miserable night for Neville, who was already under pressure before the game against the European champions.
Neville has yet to win in eight league games (five draws and three defeats) and all four of his wins from 14 games in charge in Spain have come the cup competition. Wednesday night's rout was not only embarrassing, but makes next week's second leg at the Mestalla a virtual formality as Luis Enrique's men close in on a second successive Copa del Rey final.
Copa del Rey semi-final fixtures:
Wednesday February 3rd
Barcelona 7 Valencia 0
Thursday February 4th
Sevilla vs. Celta Vigo
Wednesday February 10th
Valencia vs. Barcelona
Thursday February 11th
Celta Vigo vs. Sevilla
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