Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Barça advance to Spanish Copa del Rey semifinals

Barça advance to Spanish Copa del Rey semifinals

The second-most expensive footballer of all time has to fit that bill, probably.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez worked in tandem as Barcelona overturned a 1-0 deficit in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. That something was Philippe Coutinho on the bench.

But, it did enough on Thursday to join Sevilla, Valencia and Leganes in Friday's draw for the last four.

Messi has found the net 10 times in his past 11 games, while Suarez has scored 11 goals in his past nine.

The Espanyol keeper also stopped Ivan Rakitic before getting help from the post with a Messi header in the 88th minute.

"Besides a couple of misplaced passes, he didn't put a foot wrong".

Philippe Coutinho made his official Barcelona debut last night.

Coutinho seemingly requires no feeling out process whatsoever, judging by his debut for Barcelona which came on Thursday night.

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Prior to the game, Javier Mascherano said his goodbyes to the Barca faithful ahead of his move to China.

It wasn't long later that Suarez was heading the ball into the back of the net, set up expertly by Aleix Vidal to open the scoring in the ninth minute.

His shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off Naldo and Pau Lopez had no chance in the Espanyol goal.

The Brazilian has been injured since joining Barcelona. In addition, the £142 million Barcelona gave up for Coutinho is the most in the club's history.

The 25-year-old's display got the Spanish papers talking and the general consensus was that Coutinho's debut was a positive one.

In a Twitter video, Ronaldinho said: "It's Ronaldo speaking here to wish you all the luck in the world". At the end of the dribble, Messi's shirt was pulled and he eventually received a free kick.

Coutinho's bow came after ex-Barcelona attacker Ronaldinho had a message for his countryman pre-match.

Meanwhile, Coutinho has thanked Barcelona fans for their warm welcome.

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