Barcelona might have failed to find the target in their La Liga game against Espanyol, but a few days later, there was no stopping the attacking machine, with Lionel Messi leading the way for Barca in a 4-1 thrashing.

The Spanish champions are as good as in the next round after this first leg showing, in which Messi scored two and setup the other two to help his team bounce back from the 0-0 draw against the same opposition last weekend.

"Leo helped a lot by opening the scoring and from there we were able to score more goals," Barcelona defender Gerard Pique told the club's official website, stating the obvious.

"A derby is always a different game, intense, but we played with the necessary intensity," Andres Iniesta added.

It was not all hunky dory for Barcelona in the early moments, with Espanyol, who would later go down to nine men, opening the scoring in the ninth minute through Felipe Caicedo. However, Messi equalised four minutes later, and put Barcelona in the lead a minute before halftime.

From there, there was only going to be one result, with Pique and Neymar getting on the scoresheet in the second half.

Apart from the victory, there was plenty of other cheer for Barcelona as well, with Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal making their long-awaited debuts for the club. Turan and Vidal have had to wait for half a season to put on that Barcelona shirt in an official game, but they will be pleased with their efforts in helping their new team to a comfortable win.

"I've been waiting a long time for this day and it finally happened," Vidal said. "We're very thankful for the way people appreciate the effort we made while awaiting the expiration of the sanction."

"This was not an easy game to make a debut. I think Arda was up to the task. I came out when the game was more locked up."