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9 February 2018 | Sports News

Coutinho Off The Mark As Barcelona Reach Copa Final

BBC
Coutinho Off The Mark As Barcelona Reach Copa Final

Philippe Coutinho scored his first Barcelona goal as the Spanish side beat Valencia to reach a record fifth successive Copa del Rey final.

Coutinho, making his fifth appearance since a £142m move from Liverpool, came on in the second half and acrobatically steered home from Luis Suarez's cross.

That put Barca, cup winners in the past three years, 2-0 up on aggregate in the semi-final second leg in Valencia, before Ivan Rakitic added another.

Barca will face Sevilla in the final.
Valencia – who are third in La Liga, 18 points behind leaders Barca – had two key chances but were well beaten by a team that looks certain to win the league title.

At 0-0, striker Rodrigo headed against the crossbar while Jasper Cillessen produced a stunning instinctive save to deny full-back Jose Luis Gaya from point-blank range following Coutinho's opener.

After Rakitic coolly rounded off a late counter-attack, finishing from Suarez's pass, Barca brought on 23-year-old Colombian defender Yerry Mina – a £10.4m January signing from Palmeiras – for his debut.

Sevilla, sixth in the Spanish table 25 points behind the leaders, reached their second Copa del Rey final in three seasons with a 3-1 aggregate win over La Liga rivals Leganes.

Barca have won the competition three times in a row since losing to Real Madrid in 2014 final.

quot-img-1IN TIME LIKE THIS YOU GO CONFIDENTLY TOWARDS THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAM

By: roger forson quot-img-1
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