Lionel Messi scores on return as Barcelona defeat Rayo Vallecano in Copa del Rey

PA Sport Staff

Lionel Messi scored on his comeback as Barcelona came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey.

Fran Garcia stunned the Spanish giants when he opened the scoring for Rayo Vallecano shortly after the hour mark.

But on his return from a two-match ban following the first red card of his Barcelona career, Messi converted Antoine Griezmann’s pass to haul the visitors level six minutes later.

Then, with 10 minutes left on the clock, the Argentinian turned provider to release Jordi Alba who played in Frenkie de Jong to score the winner.

De Jong’s late strike ensured Barca’s progress to the quarter-finals, and keeps alive Ronald Koeman’s hopes of ending his first season as manager with a trophy.

Luuk de Jong hit a first-half double as Sevilla booked their place in the last eight with a 3-0 win over Valencia.

De Jong opened the scoring after 20 minutes before doubling his side’s advantage 13 minutes later.

Ivan Rakitic then struck with seven minutes remaining in the first half to put the game out of sight and seal Valencia’s second last-eight spot in three seasons.

Elsewhere, Almeria beat Osasuna 5-4 on penalties after their tie ended goalless.

In Italy, 10-man Atalanta won a five-goal thriller to progress to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.

Berat Djimsiti put the home side ahead after just seven minutes only for Vedat Muriqi to head Lazio level 10 minutes later.

Francesco Acerbi then gave the visitors in the lead before Ruslan Malinovskyi struck to ensure the sides went in 2-2 at the interval.

Atalanta appeared in trouble after Jose Palomino was shown a straight red card for taking out Manuel Lazzari with 37 minutes of the match still to play.

But moments later Aleksej Miranchuk hit the decisive goal of the game. Duvan Zapata then saw his penalty saved by Lazio keeper Pepe Reina, but the hosts clung on to secure their last-four spot.

In the night’s other fixture, Juventus, without a rested Cristiano Ronaldo, sealed a semi-final date against Inter Milan after winning 4-0 against SPAL.

Alvaro Morata scored from the penalty spot after just 16 minutes before Gianluca Frabotta doubled Juve’s advantage with his first goal for the club.

Dejan Kulusevski added a third in the second half with Federico Chiesa completing the rout in stoppage time.

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