Philippe Coutinho made his Barcelona debut and it got the expected reaction

30 January, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • Coutinho handed first Barcelona start

Barca go into Friday's draw with Sevilla, Valencia and Leganes, who came from behind to knock Real Madrid out at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

MF Ivan Rakitic, 6 - Mostly focused on his defensive work in the middle and barely put a foot wrong.

"Good players always adapt well", Valverde said in his news conference, when asked about Coutinho's encouraging debut.

Midfielder Aleix Vidal worked the ball down the right and whipped in a cross, which Suarez met with a powerful header in the ninth minute.

Before kick-off, Argentina defender Javier Mascherano walked out onto the pitch to say his goodbyes, having completed a move to Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune. Minutes later, Lionel Messi (who else?) gave Barcelona the advantage in the fixture with his goal in the 25 minute.

The second goal was Barcelona's 4000th goal at the Nou Camp - Messi has scored or assisted 10% of them.

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"The support of our fans is priceless and I hope it continues to be like that".

In a Twitter video, Ronaldinho said: "It's Ronaldo speaking here to wish you all the luck in the world".

Moments after coming on, Coutinho was on the receiving end of a thumping tackle from Espanyol's Victor Sanchez just outside the box.

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

The Brazilian nearly helped conjure up a third, crossing for Suarez but his shot was saved by Lopez, who also denied Ivan Rakitic on the follow-up. Messi received the ball on the left flank and with the ball sticking to his feet like a glue, he proceeded to run towards Espanyol's defence. How Barcelona ever won a match before he arrived at the club is beyond me.

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