Coutinho’s maiden goal helps Barcelona reach Spanish Cup final

VALENCIA: Barcelona’s record signing Philippe Coutinho on Thursday scored his maiden goal for the club helping the Blaugranas reach Spanish Cup final after a convincing 2-0 win against Valencia.

Coutinho, who was signed from Liverpool in January for a record fee of £142 million, came off the bench at half-time and poked home a cross from forward Luis Suarez four minutes into his entry.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic scored Barcelona’s second goal, also set up by Suarez, late into the second half, putting the club 3-0 up on aggregate.

Speaking to a post-match press conference, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised Coutinho saying that the Brazilian had an instant impact on the game.

“I saw the change (Coutinho replacing Gomes) clearly, we had to move things up. Andre was helping us with strength but we needed more going forward and to do something with the domination we had,” Valverde said.

Barcelona will face Sevilla in the Spanish Cup final in a 2016 cup-final rematch on April 21.