The competition is more important than usual to Barcelona given they’re off the pace in La Liga and unconvincing in Europe.
“We had enough opportunities to score, we played quite well. We’re in a good moment and the team is doing well. We’re growing every week and we have to continue like this. It’s very important to have passed [through the tie].”
Barcelona dominated the opening stages, hitting the woodwork three times in the opening hour. It was Rayo, however, who drew first blood, Francisco Garcia scoring in the 62nd minute to put them into a shock lead.
It lasted just seven minutes, however, before Lionel Messi, returning after serving suspension following his red card in the Supercopa de Espana final, scored after being teed up by Antoine Griezmann to get Barcelona back on level terms.
De Jong then put his team in the lead ten minutes later, finishing off an excellent move involving Messi and Jordi Alba to make it 2-1 and put the Catalan giants into the final eight.