Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was delighted with his team’s performance as they reached the Copa del Rey final for fifth consecutive season following a 3-0 aggregate win over Valencia.
Goals from Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic at the Mestalla saw the cup holders win 2-0 on the night and advance to a final with Valencia on April 21.
It was the first goal Brazilian star Coutinho has scored for his new club following last month’s £145million move from Liverpool.
Philippe Coutinho came off the bench for Barcelona at half-time and made an instant impact by scoring his first goal for the club
The Brazilian connected with Luis Suarez’s cross and diverted his finish into the far corner
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was full of praise for his team following their 2-0 win
‘We faced a team who were very motivated with a city behind them,’ Valverde said.
‘In the first leg, Valencia didn’t let us score many, in the second we have dominated despite them having good chances, but we deserve to progress.
‘We dominated the first game but weren’t clinical, today they threatened on the counter and we played our cards.
‘I would have prefereed to suffer a lot less and have everything in front of us before, Valencia were very dangerous on the counter and created problems with good players.
‘The move when they hit the post could have put them through.’
Messi was the first to congratulate the former Liverpool man on his first goal for the club
The whole team came together to show support for Coutinho in his big moment
The victory means that Barcelona remain on course for a treble during Valverde’s first season at the Nou Camp. They currently enjoy a nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga and face Chelsea in the last-16 of the Champions League this month.
Coutinho started the game on the bench but replaced Andre Gomes to change the direction of the game.
‘I saw the change clearly, we had to move things up’, Valverde added.
‘Andre was helping us with strength but we needed more going forwards and to do something with the domination we had.
‘I normally wait to make changes, but this time I saw it clearly.’
Barcelona host Getafe in the league on Sunday afternoon.