Philippe Coutinho scores as Barcelona reaches 5th straight Copa del Rey final


Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal since leaving Liverpool as Barcelona defeated Valencia 2-0 Thursday to reach the Copa final for the fifth straight season.

And guess who set it up?

Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho celebrates a goal during the Spanish "Copa del Rey" (King's cup) second leg semi-final football match between Valencia CF and FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on February 8, 2018.

This put Barca in a commanding position and they booked their place in the final when Ivan Rakitic finished well after more excellent work from Luis Suarez.

Coutinho, who won zero trophies at Anfield, finally scored his first goal as a member of the Catalan club, and in doing so provided both a throwback and look ahead.

Barcelona's opponents in the final are Sevilla who defeated Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday. I hope I can help him and Leo (Lionel Messi) to score goals, too.

"It's a very happy day for me because I was looking to score my first goal sooner". But we have time to prepare for it.

The Brazil worldwide, 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.

When asked how Gerard Pique was after the defender came off in the final 10 minutes, Valverde said: "In the end he noticed an overload and we decided that the best thing of all is that the player rests". "Before then we have a lot of games, so that's where our focus is now". "Before, we had the problem that teams would hit us on counterattacks, but we solved that by strengthening our midfield and playing with our wing backs higher up the pitch".

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde may take some of the credit for Coutinho's first goal for the club after taking the decision to bring him on for Andre Gomes at half-time.

Second to Messi on the La Liga scoring list with 16 - plus three in the Copa del Rey - went scoreless through all six games of the Champions League group phase.

Valencia boss Marcelino said as he gave his reflections on the game: "I think they (Barcelona), in general, were superior".