Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Coutinho scores as Barca enter Kings Cup final

Coutinho scores as Barca enter Kings Cup final

"I feel really happy because I have been looking for that first goal since I got here - and finally I've got it", the Brazilian said in an interview with Gol TV after the game.

That scoring run has played a key part in establishing a commanding nine-point lead in the, and making the final of the Copa del Rey. Sevilla eliminated Leganes 3-1 on aggregate on Wednesday. This final will be a repeat to 2016 final when Barcelona defeated the Andalusians 2-0. Sevilla's president suggested Sevilla as the location, an idea the Catalans were not fond of. "It's a special moment", Barcelona tweeted quoiting Coutinho. "The best thing would be to find a neutral site that suits everyone".

Suarez also set up the second goal, finding Rakitic for an easy shot from inside the area after a breakaway in the 82nd minute.

Watch Coutinho's first goal down below.

"I am very happy".

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.

Francis Coquelin came up with one of the more obscure ways of stopping Lionel Messi on Thursday night as his challenge saw him pull the Barcelona star's shirt off his back. Ivan Rakitic also scored in the second leg of the semifinals, giving Barcelona a 3-0 win on aggregate after a 1-0 victory in the opener at Camp Nou Stadium.

"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 was very important to win the game and it'd be incredible to win four consecutive Copas, but that will only happen if we win".

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde sent his recent recruit on in place of Andre Gomes, and Coutinho quickly made his mark, turning in a Suarez cross at the back post.

At 0-0, striker Rodrigo headed against the crossbar while Jasper Cillessen produced a stunning instinctive save to deny full-back Jose Luis Gaya from point-blank range following Coutinho's opener.

Suarez did his part to make it 2-0 with eight minutes remaining when he pressured Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista and intercepted his pass.

Valverde later admitted that he was suffering from muscle fatigue having gambled on his fitness at the start of the game.

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