Pique fit to start for Barcelona against Valencia

09 February, 2018, 08:45 | Author: George Williams
  • Barcelona Team News Injuries suspensions and line-up vs Getafe

"I finally got it today and it helped the team advance to the final".

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. For me, it will be my first final [with Barca] and it's an important moment. 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.

Barcelona are the only side to have ever reached five consecutive finals of the Copa del Rey cup.

Valencia have not reached the final for 10 years, with Ronald Koeman leading them to the trophy in 2008 after knocking Barca out in the last four.

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The home side continued to threaten as the half went on and they went close in the 28th minute when Jasper Cillessen superbly turned way Simone Zaza's powerful strike.

With Barcelona nine points clear at the top of La Liga and still in the Champions League, he remains on course to win what would be a remarkable treble in his first season at the club since arriving from Athletic Bilbao.

Coutinho was on hand to score on the far post following a Luis Suarez cross to kill of any chance Valencia had of overturning the 1-0 deficit from the previous week.

Valencia had centre-back Ezequiel Garay carried off and then saw Cillessen make an incredible save to deny Jose Gaya from point-blank range in the 74th minute.

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Suarez again battled his way through in the 82nd to set up Rakitic, who finished calmly to send Barcelona through to the final.

"We played a very good first half and we had some very good chances to score and level the tie, but when you're playing against these teams if you don't score the chances you get you pay a price", said Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech.

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

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