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Live Reporting

Mike Henson and Richard Winton

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    That's all for tonight, then, so you can get to your beds.

    But remember to join us again at the weekend for more live text coverage of the best European football action.

  2. What's next: part II?

    A quarter-final place looks secure, then, but Barcelona will meet either Atletico or Real in the last eight.

    The Spanish champions are favourites, having established a 2-0 lead in the first leg, but the champions of European are at home in next Wednesday's return at the Bernabeu. A thriller awaits.

  3. What's next?

    Atletico Madrid win the title against Barcelona

    They might have ambled through this test but a far tougher proposition awaits Barcelona on Sunday when Atletico Madrid come to town, fresh from a 2-0 victory over city rivals Real in the Copa del Rey.

    The last time the sides met, Diego Godin's header at the Nou Camp in the final game of the 2013/14 season earned Diego Simone's side a 1-1 draw and the La Liga title.


    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    And, after a pretty sterile final half hour, it's over. Barcelona scored five goals in 25 minutes either side of the interval to make next Thursday's second leg against Elche a formality.

  5. Post update

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    One minute of stoppage time signalled. For Elche, that's 60 seconds too long.


    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Lionel Messi drops another cute ball behind the Elche defence but, this time, it's substitute Adriano who strayed offside before lobbing the ball over Przemyslaw Tyton.

  7. Post update

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Przemyslaw Tyton

    His goal has been breached on five occasions tonight but Przemyslaw Tyton will have had worse nights in his career. Elche's Polish goalkeeper, on loan from PSV Eindhoven, has made several fine saves to deny Barcelona.

  8. CLOSE!

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez combine devilishly to release Pedro but his scooped effort drops just wide of the target with Przemyslaw Tyton beaten.

  9. CLOSE!

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    That's one way to deal with Lionel Messi... wrap a leg around his waist and force him to the ground. Sergio Pelegrin earns a yellow card for his efforts.

    From the subsequent free kick, Przemyslaw Tyton scrambles across his goal to paw Messi's effort away.

  10. Post update

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Lionel Messi of Barcelona

    Some said he was in the huff, having bickered with coach Luis Enrique at training earlier in the week, but Lionel Messi has been central to much of what was good about Barcelona against Elche.


    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Final switch for Barca sees callow midfield Sergi Samper gambolling on for a fourth senior appearance in place of Gerard Pique.


    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Elche have made a couple of changes, too. Neither Aaron Niguez nor Jonathas looked entirely delighted to be exposed to this but Coro and Cristian Herrera have run their race.

  13. Deadlock broken

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Neymar of Barcelona

    Neymar's emphatic finish put Barcelona ahead after 35 minutes and, by the time he was withdrawn by Luis Enrique, the advantage was 5-0.

  14. Post update

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Pedro scored four goals in the 12-1 aggregate win over Huesca in the last round. And he scored twice in Barca's 2012 final triumph over Athletic Bilbao. He's also scored in a Champions League final.

    Perhaps not the man Elche wanted to see come on, you suspect...


    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    Have Barcelona settled for five? Certainly the tempo has dropped a little since Neymar's second of the night and the Brazilian is now trudging off the pitch to be replace by Pedro.

  16. Bitter memory

    Gareth Bale

    Barca reached the final of this competition last season, only to lose to Real Madrid in extra time. The winner? That astonishing Gareth Bale goal, when he romped down the left after scampering out of play before netting.


    Barcelona 5-0 Elche

    First change of the night for Barcelona as Adriano replaces Jordi Alba.

  18. GOAL

    Barcelona 5-0 Elche (Neymar)

    Now that's just outrageous. Neymar is allowed to meander infield by the increasingly woebegone Elche defenders and the Brazilian unleashes a rising shot that scuds against the underside of the crossbar before rippling the rigging.

  19. GOAL

    Barcelona 4-0 Elche (Jordi Alba)

    Ooh, that's delightful. Lionel Messi cleaves open the Elche defence with a fabulous angled pass and Jordi Alba takes a touch before ramming gleefully past Przemyslaw Tyton.

  20. Post update

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche

    Remarkable scenes! Elche break into the Barca half and play rages towards Marc-Andre Ter Stegen's box...

    But the threat doesn't last as they give the ball away cheaply.

  21. Post update

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche

    Przemyslaw Tyton has to scamper from his line to thwart Neymar after he was picked out. In fact, had the Brazilian not taken a heavy touch the outcome could have been very different.

  22. Post update

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche

    Given that they host Atletico Madrid on Sunday, it might be prudent for Luis Enrique to send one or two of his Barcelona players home early for a rest.

    The likes of Pedro and Munir El Haddadi might fancy a wee run out from the bench given how vulnerable Elche look.

  23. Post update

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche

    That's us back underway. Elche are sitting in again... This could be a long 45 minutes for them.

  24. Post update

    That first half has summed up Barca's season pretty well actually - impressive on the surface but plenty to quibble with about the performance.

    European football writer Lee Roden examines what's gone wrong here.

  25. Pressure eased... for now

    Luis Enrique

    Luis Enrique has come under increasing scrutiny of late but the Barcelona coach can relax a little tonight given the manner in which his side ripped through Elche in the closing stages of the first half.

  26. Post update

    Thanks Mike.

    Well, what have Elche got to lose? Apart from several more goals.

    Keeping the tie alive might even be beyond them at this stage but we'll see...


    Half-time change in the text commentary box. Here is Richard Winton to take you through a jaw-dropping second-half comeback by Elche.


  28. Post update

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche

    It ain't pretty for Elche. The visitors have clocked up absolutely nothing in attack tonight, and shipped three goals at the other end.

    A little under 32% possession and a couple of offside decisions is about all they can take back to the dressing room.

    match stats

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche

  30. GOAL

    Barcelona 3-0 Elche - Lionel Messi (pen)

    Lionel Messi's spot-kick is the final kick of the half and it is an emphatic one. The Argentine uberstar hammers the ball past Przemyslaw Tyton who guesses right, but wrong.


    Barcelona 2-0 Elche

    Neymar brought down by Enzo Roco. Stonewall. And up steps Lionel Messi...


    Barcelona 2-0 Elche

    Lionel Messi thumps a finish in off the underside of the crossbar, which is always satisfying, but his strike is ruled out for offside.

    Just about right. A yard or so the wrong side as Dani Alves clips the ball in.

  33. CLOSE!

    Barcelona 2-0 Elche

    Almost three! The cheers of the Nou Camp fans stick in their collective throat as Neymar fires a low shot a whisker wide of the far post.

  34. GOAL

    Barcelona 2-0 Elche - Luis Suarez

    He was denied by Przemyslaw Tyton a minute earlier, but he makes no mistake this time.

    Luis Suarez jags in off the left wing, leaves Sergio Pelegrín's head spinning with his change of direction and drills a low shot inside the near post past the wrong-footed Elche goalkeeper.

  35. GOAL

    Barcelona 1-0 Elche - Neymar

    Luis Suarez may not have had many touches, but he has made that one count.

    He turns a promising position for Barcelona just inside the Elche box into a certain goal with a brilliant sliderule pass to the far post where Neymar is waiting and has the whole goal to blast into.

    Great vision and Suarez roars his delight to the skies.

  36. Full-time

    Granada 1-2 Sevilla

    Gerard Deulofeu

    Earlier on Thursday, Sevilla won the first leg of their last-16 tie 2-1 in Granada.

    Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu - who spent last term at Everton - and Kevin Gameiro scored for the visitors, with Lassana Bangoura scoring a late consolation.

  37. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    A good stat for you courtesy of Sky Sports.

    Luis Suarez has touched the ball just 10 times in the opening half hour - the least of any of the outfield Barcelona players.

    He is looking a little frustrated as the game passes him by.

  38. CLOSE!

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Normal service resumes. Neymar drifts off his marker with a little diagonal run towards the corner flag and Lionel Messi's floated pass lands plum in the pocket of space his team-mate has ghosted into.

    Goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton is off his line quickly to try and snuff out the danger and perhaps does just enough. Neymar's dinked shot loops just wide.

  39. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Elche get into nosebleed territory, up around the Barcelona box. They are there in too few numbers though and can't connect the vast distances separating their attackers with passes.

  40. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Lionel Messi pulls the trigger from 20 yards, but it is too close to Przemyslaw Tyton, who leaps left and grips tight.

    It is a bit of a one-on-one duel so far.

  41. CLOSE!

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    What a goal that would have been.

    Lionel Messi's whipped free-kick delivery is punched clear by Przemyslaw Tyton in the Elche goal. He could perhaps have held it and he is almost punished as Dani Alves goes for a spectacular volley back towards the unguarded goal from 40 yards. Just wide.

  42. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Barcelona are faced with two solid banks of Elche defenders once they reach the attacking third. It is a problem they have faced many times before, but it still takes some solving.

    Some gentle probing, but no penetration in this little spell.

  43. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Suddenly Lionel Messi is hurdling stretching legs and swerving grabbing arms - like a deer chased through a forest - but the shot doesn't match the mazy run that preceded it.

    Goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton scoops up a tame 20 yarder with time to spare.


    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Neymar is asking the question, but no dice from the referee. The Brazilian was checked by Damian Suarez as he burst into the Elche box, but there wasn't enough to call it as a definite body check.

  45. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    More one-touch wizardry from Barca as Lionel Messi looks for a return from Luis Suarez and Elche just about manage to hack clear before the Argentine recaptures possession.

    The spurts of speed off the ball are dizzying at times from Barcelona. It is forcing Elche to concentrate so hard in defence.

  46. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Very nice from Barca.

    Neymar slips the ball to Luis Suarez and doesn't stop to admire his work. The Brazilian is already haring forward is search of the second half of a one-two and Suarez obliges to put him in behind Elche.

    Neymar's cut-back towards Ivan Rakitic's is blocked, but the ease with which Barcelona cut through was promising for the hosts.

  47. Post update

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    Elche have the first chance to apply a bit of pressure and Javier Mascherano has to alert to boot away a clearance as they toss an early free-kick into the Barca box.

  48. KICK-OFF

    Barcelona 0-0 Elche

    We are up and running. Lionel Messi through the middle with Neymar and Luis Suarez on the flanks for the hosts.

  49. Post update

    Barcelona v Elche (21:00 GMT)

    Teams are out in front of a sparsely-populated Nou Camp. Here we go...

  50. Post update

    Luis Suarez

    Luis Suarez's form is not exactly helping the mood at the Nou Camp.

    The one-man headline generator has scored only three goals in his first 12 appearances for Barcelona.

    Short change for £75m so far.

  51. Cup pedigree

    Xavi of Barcelona

    No team has won the Copa del Rey more times than Barcelona. The Catalan club have lifted the trophy on 26 occasions - three times more than Athletic Bilbao and seven ahead of holders Real Madrid.

    Their last success was in 2012, when they beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in Madrid.

  52. Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    So is following opposition clubs on social media the new way to issue a "come-and-get-me plea"?

    It makes a pleasant change from the old "I'm flattered to be linked with club x, but concentrating on the task at hand with club y at the moment" line.

    What would be your method?

    Perhaps lighting two flares in your prospective club's colours while kneeling topless on your current stadium roof? It worked for Nicholas Cage in the Rock.

    Let us know on #bbceurofooty and 81111 on text.

  53. Who the Elche?

    Mario Pasalic

    Promoted to the Spanish top-flight at the end of the 2012-13 campaign after a 23-year absence, Elche stayed up last season courtesy of a 16th-place finish.

    They have their work cut out to do similar this season though. They are two points adrift at the bottom of the table.

    In their line-up tonight is Chelsea's teenage midfielder Mario Pasalic, who is on a a season-long loan in Spain.

  54. Post update

    Anyway. Barcelona try to ignore all that nonsense and get the wheels back on the wagon tonight against Elche in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie.

    Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are all in the line-up for tonight's game with Andres Iniesta, who was set for a rest, stepping back up to the bench after Xavi strained a calf muscle.

    Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Pique, Rakitic, Suarez, Messi, Neymar, Mascherano, Bartra, J. Alba, S.Roberto, Alves

    Elche XI: Tyton, Damian, Roco, Lomban, Cisma, Herrera, Coro, Pelegrin, Faycal, Edu Albacar, Pasalic

  55. Post update

    All it took was a couple of social media clicks and suddenly the big transfer gossip train is really chugging.

    As well as Leo keeping across pictures of Andre Schurrle tying his bootlaces on the Chelsea Instagram feed, a Twitter account apparently belonging to his partner started following the Blues on Twitter.

    Anto Roccuzzo Twitter account

    Cue over-excited back-page splatter over here in Blighty:

    Daily Star
  56. Not such a beautiful horizon....


    Something is rotten in the state of Barca.

    On Sunday, Real Sociedad denied the Catalans the chance to move to the top of La Liga, inflicting a 1-0 defeat.

    On Monday legendary goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta was sacked as director of football.

    On Tuesday, Marca's front page claimed that the club was falling apart - with Lionel Messi at loggerheads with boss Luis Enrique.

    On Wednesday, Spanish paper AS came out with more details - including the fact that Messi had started following Chelsea on Instagram.

    As weeks go, it is registering pretty low on the Craig David scale.