Cup relief for Barcelona, Juventus stroll on

Group hugs for Barcelona as they get back to winning ways in the Spanish cup.

Story highlights

  • Barcelona return to winning ways with 4-1 win in Spain's Copa del Rey
  • Juventus go six points clear in Italy's Serie A with win over Bologna
  • Marseille are toppled by Nantes and lose ground in Ligue 1

The Copa del Rey provided some respite for Barcelona after a double dose of defeats.

The Catalan giants, who are without the talents of their mercurial striker Lionel Messi, had fallen to consecutive defeats to Ajax, in the Champions League, and to Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.

This time, Barcelona survived an early scare in Spain's domestic cup after Division 2B side Cartagena took the lead when Fernando found the back of the net.

Pedro Rodriguez put the Spanish league leaders back on level terms in the first leg of the fourth round tie before half time.

He doubled his tally after the break with Cesc Fabregas and Cameroon teenager Jean Marie Dongou wrapping up a 4-1 victory. It was Dongou's first senior goal for the club.

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Barcelona got as far as the semifinals in last year's domestic cup -- the so-called "King's Cup" -- with Atletico Madrid lifting the trophy.

Juventus stretched their lead at the top of Serie A in the Italian league's only match Friday.

The defending champions remain unbeaten in the domestic series this season after ticking off a 2-0 away win in Bologna.

Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal followed up his Champions League hat-trick against FC Copenhagen with an opening goal for Juventus, volleying Federico Peluso's pass into the roof of the net.

Bologna came close to an equaliser in the first half when Alessandro Diamanti had his shot from outside the box blocked by Gianluigi Buffon.

The Italian keeper can feel pleased with his safe hands as Juventus have not conceded a goal in Serie A for seven matches.

Juve had to wait until the dying minutes of the match to double their score which came when Giorgio Chiellini headed in Carlos Tevez's corner.

The victory was a nice tune-up ahead of their final Champions League match at Galatasaray next Tuesday.

Antonio Conte's side may be six points clear at the top of Serie A but they still need a point against the Turkish champions to reach the last 16 of the elite European competition.

The result in Bologna left the home side hovering near the foot of Serie A with only Sampdoria and Catania below them.

In France, Marseille were leap-frogged by Nantes as the home side nicked a 1-0 victory thanks to a solo strike from American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.

The win saw Nantes move up to fourth in the Ligue 1 table while Marseille dropped back to fifth.

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