Jan 25, 2018 at 8.30pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Attendance: 79,774
Barcelona
2-0
Espanyol
Suarez (9'), Messi (25')
Suarez (8'), Messi (27'), Alba (38'), Paulinho (82')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Hermoso (19'), Granero (60'), Garcia (72'), Naldo (77')

Ernesto Valverde "has a lot of hope" for Philippe Coutinho

Valverde
© SilverHub
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde hopes that Philippe Coutinho can shine at Camp Nou after showing some good link-up play with Lionel Messi on his debut.

Ernesto Valverde has talked up Philippe Coutinho's potential in a Barcelona shirt after the Brazilian playmaker made his much-anticipated debut against Espanyol.

Coutinho was brought on for the final 20 minutes of the Catalan giants' 2-0 victory at Camp Nou on Thursday night, three weeks after joining from Liverpool in a £142m transfer.

The 25-year-old did not make any serious impact on the match, but he did show the odd glimmer of what is to come when linking up with superstar forward Lionel Messi in attack.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Valverde said: "We have a lot of hope for him. In the sense that he will be good for our game, he can help us with his self-confidence, his ability one-on-one, to see the free player when he is close to the area, the danger is sensed.

"[Coutinho had] a simple game, but I think it went well. Let's see, this is the beginning."

Barcelona prevailed 2-1 on aggregate against rivals Espanyol to book a semi-final spot for the eighth year in a row.

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Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona shirt pictured on January 6, 2018
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Coutinho hails "very special" Barca debut
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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