Copa del Rey wrap: Advantage to heavyweights

Barcelona were at their brilliant best in a 5-0 demolition job of Almeria in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

The result was not quite the 8-0 win Barca pulled off over Almeria in their La Liga meeting in November, but it was still wholly convincing.

Midfielder Lionel Messi scored a double, while David Villa, Pedro and Seydou Keita all netted in the rampant result which all but booked Barca spot in the Spanish cup final at the expense of La Liga strugglers Almeria.

The Catalans were 4-0 up inside 31 minutes, but failed to score for the best part of an hour before Keita topped off the victory in the 89th minute.

Elsewhere, Karim Benzema struck a vital away goal in Real Madrid’s 1-0 triumph over Sevilla in their first-leg encounter.

The France international is under pressure to hang on to his spot in Real’s first team following manager Jose Mourinho’s acquisition of striker Emmanuel Adebayor, but Benzema fired his side ahead in the 17th minute at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Benzema took possession outside of the penalty area, dribbled into the 18-yard area, snuck the ball past Sevilla defender Julien Escude before slotting under veteran goalkeeper Andres Palop.