Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Pique fit to start for Barcelona against Valencia

Kristopher Love | 09 February, 2018, 04:01

Barcelona take on Valencia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tonight but the clash is not being broadcast on UK TV.

The breakthrough finally came after four minutes of the second half and it was a first goal for the club for Barcelona new boy Philippe Coutinho.

Ivan Rakitic then swept home the second goal eight minutes from the end as holders Barcelona secured a place in the final for the fifth season running.

The three-time defending champions next face Sevilla in a repeat of the 2016 final.

Ernesto Valverde's charges hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg at the Camp Nou, leaving Los Che in a chasing position as they welcome Barca to the Mestalla Stadium.

Sevilla beat Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday in the other semi-final to advance 3-1 on aggregate.

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

"I am very happy".

Barca won the first leg at Camp Nou last week 1-0, Luis Suarez scoring a second-half victor to put the defending champions in control of the tie.

"Everyone told me we could be the first team to reach five finals in a row, we all knew it and it's a great achievement".

Lionel Messi had come close on a couple of occasions for the visitors in the first half, but it was the introduction of Coutinho that swung the tie decisively their way.

Luis Suarez was the architect, going on a mazy run and crossing to the back post, where Coutinho slid in and finished low across the goalkeeper into the far post.

Colombian defender Yerry Mina made his Barcelona debut on Thursday by replacing Gerard Pique late in the match.