CDR: Messi, Suarez dump out Espanyol on Coutinho's debut - FCNaija

Copa Del Rey By: Ambrose Udeme | 25/01/2018

Philippe Coutinho made his Barcelona debut on Thursday as the Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez combined to overturned a lone goal deficit from the first leg in Cornellà to beat Espanyol 2-1 on aggregate to progress to the Copa del Rey semi-final draw at Camp Nou.

The 'parakeets' were in the driving seat after winning the quarter-final first leg 1-0, but the Catalans made good use of the home advantage to drown their city rivals and progress to the final four round.

Luis Suarez's header from very close range to the bottom left corner after nine minutes erased the first leg deficit before Lionel Messi doubled Barca's lead, three minutes from the half-hour mark with a left footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal.

The victory means Barca join Sevilla, Valencia and giant killers Leganes in the Spanish Cup semi-final draw.

SETTING THE SCENE

The inclusion for the first time of the two winter signings, Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina was the main news when Barcelona confirmed its squad on Wednesday evening.

But both stars were named on the bench as Ernesto Valverde named a strong side for Thursday's make or mar clash.

That was not the only good news as Andres Iniesta and Paco Alcácer were both fully fit but it was the former who got a starting role.

More to follow...
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