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Barcelona's Andres Iniesta a 'magical player,' says manager Luis Enrique

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique hailed "magical" Andres Iniesta for his role in the Blaugrana's 4-1 thrashing of city rival Espanyol in their Copa del Rey round of 16 first-leg tie on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi scored a brace, while Gerrard Pique and Neymar rounded out the scoring for the Catalans in a hard-fought result that was just what their manager had hoped for.

"We have played well and we have achieved the objective we have for the game," Luis Enrique said after the game. "It's normal there is tension, it's a derby and we have our rivalry."

Iniesta set up the first and fourth Barcelona goals en route to Wednesday's rout at Camp Nou, and Luis Enrique had special praise for his 31-year-old playmaker afterward.

Said Luis Enrique: "Iniesta has unique peripheral vision. He is a magical player."

Despite a sizable advantage heading the second leg of their tie, Pique charged his teammates to remain focused for the return fixture.

"We have picked up a good result to get through but there is still the second leg to come," he continued. "The [red cards] have influenced the game. It has not resolved the tie but we go there with a good result. In a cup tie anything can happen."

The game's intensity picked up toward finish, with Espanyol being reduced to nine men after seeing Hernan Perez and Pape Diop sent off.

"At the end of derbies there is much intensity. They have a way of playing," Pique said.

"There are referees that allow it, like the other day, and others not, like today."