Sunday, August 19, 2018

Coutinho revels in first goal as Barcelona reach Copa del Rey final

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Feb 2018

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Philippe Coutinho was left celebrating “a very happy day” after scoring his first goal for Barcelona to help them reach the Copa del Rey final.

The Brazil international, a €160million signing from Liverpool last month, came off the bench at Mestalla to break the deadlock as Barca claimed a 2-0 win over Valencia and a 3-0 aggregate triumph.

The victory, sealed by Ivan Rakitic’s late strike, secured Barca’s place in a record fifth Copa final in a row, where they will meet Sevilla.

Coutinho is relishing the prospect of his first final since joining the club and was delighted to get his first goal on his fifth appearance.

“It’s a very happy day,” he told GOL. “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.

“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.”

Rakitic’s killer second goal came eight minutes after Jasper Cillessen produced one of the saves of the season to deny Jose Gaya from point-blank range.

The Netherlands goalkeeper was in a modest mood after the final whistle, though.

Asked about the stop, he said: “It was spectacular but just one more save!

“It was very important to win the game and it’d be amazing to win four consecutive Copas, but that will only happen if we win.”

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