Valencia v Barcelona – story of the match



Posted Friday, February 09, 2018 by PA

Valencia v Barcelona – story of the match

Record signing Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to score his first goal for Barcelona as they advanced to the Copa del Rey final with a 2-0 win at Valencia, progressing 3-0 on aggregate.

Coutinho was brought off the bench at half-time for his fifth appearance since his mega-money switch from Liverpool last month and scored four minutes after the restart, sending the ball into the corner of the net having slid to meet Luis Suarez’s cross.

Ivan Rakitic, also teed up by Suarez, then added the visitors’ second in the 82nd minute to secure progress to a showdown against Sevilla – which will be defending champions Barcelona’s fifth consecutive Copa del Rey final.

Valencia v Barcelona – story of the match
Coutinho was making his fifth Barcelona appearance since joining from Liverpool (Alberto Saiz/AP)

Tweet of the match

Star man – Luis Suarez

Valencia v Barcelona – story of the match
Suarez provided two assists (John Walton/EMPICS)

Coutinho will grab the headlines but his former Liverpool team-mate deserves the man of the match accolade after setting up both of the goals.

Moment of the match

Coutinho’s goal. Certainly the Brazil playmaker has produced more beautiful finishes in his career, but this one will always be special for him.

Data point

Barcelona are aiming to win the Copa del Rey for a 30th time.

Ratings

Valencia: Jaume Domenech 6, Jose Gaya 6,  Ezequiel Garay 6, Gabriel Paulista 5, Martin Montoya 6, Rodrigo 6, Geoffrey Kondogbia 6, Daniel Parejo 6, Francis Coquelin 6, Simone Zaza 5, Luciano Vietto 5. Substitutes: Carlos Soler (for Rodrigo, 55) 6, Goncalo Guedes (for Coquelin, 55) 6, Ruben Vezo (for Garay, 71) 5.

Barcelona: Jasper Cillessen 7, Sergi Roberto 6, Gerard Pique 7, Samuel Umtiti 7, Jordi Alba 6, Andre Gomes 5, Ivan Rakitic 7, Sergio Busquets 7, Andres Iniesta 7, Lionel Messi 8, Luis Suarez 8. Substitutes: Philippe Coutinho (for Gomes, HT) 7, Paulinho (for Iniesta, 65) 6, Yerry Mina (for Pique 83) 6.

Who’s up next?

Valencia v Levante (LaLiga, February 11)
Barcelona v Getafe (LaLiga, February 11)

Photos

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