8 best pictures from Philippe Coutinho’s Barcelona debut

Date published: Friday 26th January 2018 8:48

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored the goals as Barcelona’s established stars kept new signing Philippe Coutinho out of the limelight at the Camp Nou last night.

Barca, who were behind 1-0 after the first leg, went through to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 2-0 win over city rivals Espanyol.

They join Valencia, Sevilla and Leganes in the last four, the latter after they had dumped Real Madrid out of the competition on Wednesday evening.

Coutinho made his much-anticipated debut on 67 minutes – as a replacement for Andres Iniesta.

The Brazilian’s protracted £142million move from Liverpool finally went through earlier this month and he was able to return to the Nou Camp, where he last played in 2012 when he was on loan at Espanyol from Inter Milan.

He was quickly welcomed by Espanyol’s Sergio Garcia who received a booking for his challenge.

Coutinho then set up Suarez for an effort which was saved by Pau Lopez, the Espanyol keeper also denying Ivan Rakitic shortly after.

Afterward Coutinho said on Barcelona’s official website: “For me it’s a great night, a very special night.

“They are my first minutes with this club and I’m very happy, thrilled.

“The reception I got from the fans and the players left me happy. I was a little anxious, nervous, but the way they all received me left me very calm.

“It’s a special night and we’ve managed to win the game, which is the most important thing.

 

“It was a difficult game, as you’d expect, against a team who played well. I think from the first half we controlled the game well and we’ve deserved to win.”

 

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