Philippe Coutinho's goal vs. Valencia put Barcelona in prime position to advance to another Copa del Rey final.

By Avi Creditor
February 08, 2018

Philippe Coutinho arrived at Barcelona with lofty expectations following his big-money move from Liverpool, and he delivered on his first significant stage for the Blaugrana.

Coutinho came off the bench at halftime and scored a vital goal not even four minutes later in Barcelona's Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Valencia. Luis Suarez set him up with a deft cross from the left, and Coutinho met the pass with a sliding finish, hooking it inside the opposite post to give Barcelona a 2-0 aggregate lead. The away goal ensured that Valencia needed three to unseat Barcelona, which is hoping to win a fourth straight Copa del Rey title.

Until the goal, Valencia was a single tally from pulling even, and it nearly did in the first half, hitting the post on a close-range header.

Ivan Rakitic eased any remaining fears for Barcelona, putting the game on ice in the 82nd minute off another assist from Suarez.

Barcelona will face Sevilla in the final on April 21.

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