Thursday, February 21, 2019

Valverde hopes Coutinho gains confidence from Copa brace

SoccerNews in La Liga 31 Jan 2019

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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde hopes Philippe Coutinho’s brace against Sevilla gives the Brazilian attacker a boost in confidence.

Coutinho netted twice as Barca thrashed Sevilla 6-1 on Wednesday to claim a 6-3 aggregate success in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

The 26-year-old has been questioned this season, but converted an early penalty – given to him by Lionel Messi – before adding another in the second half.

Valverde praised Coutinho and said he hoped that would give the attacker the boost he needed.

“Leo has given it to him to take and he has taken a great responsibility and made it 1-0,” he said.

“I hope the success gives him more confidence.”

Barca looked in trouble in the tie, but Coutinho’s double and goals from Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Luis Suarez and Messi saw them seal a comeback win.

Valverde said it showed his team, who are top of LaLiga, could step up when needed.

“The best thing is that we have security and we confirm that we are a team that when we have to take a step forward, we do it,” he said.

Barcelona are next in action with a LaLiga clash at home to Valencia on Saturday.

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