Philippe Coutinho's debut goal help Barcelona beat Valencia, enter Copa del Rey final

AFP
Published Feb 9, 2018, 8:32 am IST
Updated Feb 9, 2018, 8:48 am IST
The three-time defending champions advanced with 3-0 aggregate over Valencia to face Sevilla in final.
Philipe Coutinho, making his fourth appearance since being signed in January, scored shortly after coming on at halftime. ( Photo: AFP)
 Philipe Coutinho, making his fourth appearance since being signed in January, scored shortly after coming on at halftime. ( Photo: AFP)

Madrid: Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal since leaving Liverpool as Barcelona defeated Valencia 2-0 Thursday to reach the Copa del Rey final for the fifth straight year.

Ivan Rakitic sealed the victory late in the second leg of the semifinals as Barcelona added to its 1-0 win from the opener at Camp Nou Stadium, advancing 3-0 on aggregate.

 

The three-time defending champions will face Sevilla in a repeat of the 2016 final. Sevilla eliminated Leganes 3-1 on aggregate on Wednesday.

Valencia put on a tough challenge against Barcelona, creating some significant scoring chances at Mestalla Stadium.

But the visitors opened the scoring early in the second half after Luis Suarez raced past a defender inside the area before crossing the ball to Coutinho. The Brazilian playmaker, Barcelona's most expensive signing, slid to reach the ball and sent it toward the far corner.

Coutinho, making his fourth appearance since being signed in January, scored shortly after coming on at halftime. Suarez also set up the second goal, finding Rakitic for an easy goal from inside the area after a breakaway in the 82nd minute.

 





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