Barcelona reach fifth successive Copa del Rey final

Written By: Muraya Kamunde/BBC
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Philippe Coutinho scored his first Barcelona goal as the Spanish side beat Valencia to reach a record fifth successive Copa del Rey final.

Coutinho, making his fifth appearance since a £142m move from Liverpool, came on in the second half and acrobatically steered home from Luis Suarez’s cross.

That put Barca, cup winners in the past three years, 2-0 up on aggregate in the semi-final second leg in Valencia, before Ivan Rakitic added another.

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Barca will face Sevilla in the final.

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Valencia – who are third in La Liga, 18 points behind leaders Barca – had two key chances but were well beaten by a team that looks certain to win the league title.

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At 0-0, striker Rodrigo headed against the crossbar while Jasper Cillessen produced a stunning instinctive save to deny full-back Jose Luis Gaya from point-blank range following Coutinho’s opener.

After Rakitic coolly rounded off a late counter attack, finishing from Suarez’s pass, Barca brought on 23-year-old Colombian defender Yerry Mina – a £10.4m January signing from Palmeiras – for his debut.

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Sevilla, sixth in the Spanish table 25 points behind the leaders, reached their second Copa del Rey final in three seasons with a 3-1 aggregate win over La Liga rivals Leganes.

Barca have won the competition three times in a row since losing to Real Madrid in the 2014 final.

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