Following a week in which Barcelona fired sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, former club captain Carlos Puyol resigned as assistant sports director, and reports of a falling out between Coach Luis Enrique and Lionel Messi, Barcelona thumped Elche, 5-0, in a Copa del Rey round of 16 game.
Messi and Neymar returned to the starting lineup after being rested by Enrique for Sunday's loss at Real Sociedad. Neymar opened the scoring on an assists by Luis Suarez. Suarez and Messi, from the penalty spot, gave Barca a 3-0 halftime lead that Jordi Alba and Neymar extended in the second half. The win may ease the pressure on Enrique after reports his job was at risk.
Marca reported that in the final 10 minutes groups of Barca fans dueled with chants for Enrique and Messi. Chants for the coach were drowned out by jeers and followed by Messi chants.