Coutinho scores first goal as Barcelona enter Copa final

Coutinho scores first goal as Barcelona enter Copa final

Not that it would matter, with the Catalans clinching a 2-0 win on the night and a 3-0 aggregate victory to book their place in the Copa del Rey final.

Ernesto Valverde's side were 1-0 up 73 minutes at the Mestalla - courtesy of Coutinho's first goal since joining in January - but the tie arguably should have been levelled by Valencia's Jose Gaya when he saw his close range effort denied by the Dutchman.

Coincidentally, Suarez set up Coutinho's first goal at Liverpool five years ago.

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.

"I feel really happy because I have been looking for that first goal since I got here - and finally I've got it", Coutinho told Gol TV after the game. Sevilla beat Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday to advance 3-1 on aggregate.

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.

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"It's a special thing to reach a final and I am sure it will be a great game, but also a hard one, like all finals are. It's a special moment".

The relief was clear on Coutinho's face.

The final will be played on April 21, and Cillessen will hope his performance in a red-hot Mestalla stadium may earn him a starting spot over No 1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen. This should be the first of many in the blue and red of Barcelona.

Valencia was attempting to make it to the Copa final for the first time since 2007-08, when it won its seventh title after eliminating Barcelona in the semifinals.

In my opinion, I don't think Reds fans will be too anxious.

The only concern for Barca will be the sight of Pique in obvious discomfort after going off late on to be replaced by €11.8m man Yerry Mina, who made his debut. But we saw it very clearly, we had to try to move the top part a bit.


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