Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to score his first goal for Barcelona as they reached the finals of the Copa del Rey with a 2-0 victory at Mestalla, progressing 3-0 on aggregate.
Philippe Coutinho, who joined Barcelona from Liverpool for a club record €160 Million in January, had been on the pitch less than three minutes when he scored, while Ivan Rakitic stretched the visitors lead eight minutes from the stoppage time. Thanks to both of them as Barcelona reached the King’s Cup final for a record fifth year in a row on Thursday.
Philippe Coutinho was in the centre of many conversations after he joined Barcelona to become the second most expensive player following his close friend and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar. He didn’t have a dream start for Barcelona but has lately started to notch up his top form.
The Brazilian was on the scoresheet as his side advanced to the finals of the Copa del Rey. Coutinho scored from a tight angle just four minutes after coming off the bench, latching onto a wonderful cross from his former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez.
There is much more to this, Luis Suarez not only assisted Coutinho for his first goal for Barcelona but also assisted him for his first goal for Liverpool. Ivan Rakitic, who latched onto a wonderful assist by Suarez, completed the job in the 82nd minute of the game as Barcelona progressed to the finals of the competition for a record fifth time in a row.
Philippe Coutinho Says It Was A ‘Special Moment’:
After playing a role of an important catalyst in the game, Coutinho was happy that his goal helped his team reach the finals of the competition. When quizzed about how he feels after helping his team reach the finals, Coutinho said: “It’s a very happy day. I was looking for the goal in the first few games and today I got it and, most importantly, helped the team reach the final.”
Coutinho continued: “It’s a special moment. It’ll be a great game and a difficult one [against Sevilla]. We have time to prepare ourselves. It’s my first final and it’s a special and important moment for me, but there are a lot of moments to play before the final.”
Ernesto Valverde Hails Philippe Coutinho:
Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde was delighted with his team’s performance as they reached the Copa del Rey final for the fifth consecutive season following a 3-0 aggregate win over Valencia at Mestalla.
Goals from Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic at the Mestalla saw the defending champions win 2-0 and advance to the finals of the competition. Speaking after the game, Valverde said: “It normally takes a little longer to make the changes. But we saw it very clearly, we had to try to move the top part a bit. Gomes was helping us with his strength to be together up and back, but I saw that with the domain we had we needed a player (Coutinho) who could bargain at the last moment.”
Valverde also admitted that he is excited over the prospect of winning his first silverware with Barcelona since taking over the charge of the club in May. He also said that he needs a bit of luck. Valverde added: “I am very excited. I suppose like any coach, to play the cup final with your team and have the chance to win a title, knowing the Barca demand to win always. For me, it is my second cup final and I will try to have more luck than in the previous one.”
Barcelona next faces Getafe on Sunday in La Liga as they eye a treble by the end of the season.
A well-balanced game by Barcelona. Kudos to Valverde for making right calls at the right time and it was a great performance by everyone in the team, especially, by Coutinho who grabbed his first goal for Barcelona.
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