Arnaiz bags debut goal to put Catalans in charge

Barcelona put one foot in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win over Murcia, with Jose Arnaiz enjoying a memorable debut.

Jose Arnaiz in action for Barcelona against Real Murcia   -  Twitter @FCBarcelona

Jose Arnaiz scored a superb debut goal as Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 first-leg win over Murcia in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey.

The 22-year-old, drafted into the side after impressing for Gerard Lopez's B team, fired home the goal of the game after Paco Alcacer and Gerard Deulofeu had put the holders in control at the Nueva Condomina.

Ernesto Valverde named Arnaiz, Carles Alena and Thomas Vermaelen — making his first start of the season — in a much-changed line-up, as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Paulinho and Marc-Andre Stegen were all left out.

Murcia performed well for much of the first half, looking a threat on the break, but Alcacer's well-taken header saw Barca take control just before half-time.

Deulofeu added a second shortly after the break before Arnaiz netted the third to put the LaLiga leaders in command of the tie ahead of the return leg at Camp Nou on November 29.

The Catalan Club now turns its attention to a league trip to Valverde's old club Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, for which Arnaiz could well be in contention following an excellent display.