Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Coutinho thanks Suarez for again assisting on first goal at new club

Coutinho thanks Suarez for again assisting on first goal at new club

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

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg after Luis Suarez's strike separated the teams at the Camp Nou last week, Valencia did nearly level the tie on aggregate early on.

Social media blew up this morning after former Reds Luis Suarez and recently departed Philippe Coutinho combined to score Barcelona's opening goal this morning.

The ex-Liverpool forward entered the arena as a half-time substitute and promptly took just three minutes to double Barca's lead after latching onto a cross from his old mucker Luis Suarez...

"It's a special moment for me", Coutinho said.

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On game No5, however, the goal finally arrived - with a little help from Suarez. Sevilla beat Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday in the other semi-final to advance 3-1 on aggregate.

Barcelona changed things at the interval by bringing on Coutinho for Andre Gomes, and the Brazilian made a near-instant impact as he got his right leg to Suarez's cross from the left to send the ball across Domenech and in.

"It's a very happy day", he told GOL.

"I think that in the first half we deserved to go level, but we did not do it and then their goal (Coutinho's) decided the tie".

Valencia - who are third in La Liga, 18 points behind leaders Barca - had two key chances but were well beaten by a team that looks certain to win the league title.

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"We thought it would be very hard and that's how it was, but we're going home with the final ticket in our pocket".

Still just one goal down, Valencia almost got the equaliser on an outstanding header by Rodrigo that beat Barça net minder Jasper Cillessen but clanked off the crossbar.

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 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.

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