MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 07:39:07

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde: "We deserved to progress"

Valverde:
© SilverHub
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admits that he is "very happy" to have guided his side into a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey final following victory over Valencia.

Ernesto Valverde has praised Valencia for their "dangerous" play, but insists that Barcelona deserved their 3-0 aggregate victory in the Copa del Rey semi-final.

A first goal for the club from Philippe Coutinho and an Ivan Rakitic strike late on at the Mestalla got the job done for Barca, who already held a slender advantage from the first leg.

The Catalan giants remain on course for a record-equalling fourth Copa del Rey crown in a row, and Valverde was particularly delighted to make it through to his first final as manager of the famous club.

"Barca are used to reaching and playing the finals. In my case, not so much," he is quoted as saying by Marca. "I feel very happy as it is the fifth consecutive final that the players of this team are going to play, something very complicated to repeat and repeat.

"We thought it would be very difficult and that's how it was, but we're going home with the final ticket in our pocket. We faced a team who were very motivated with a city behind them. In the first leg, Valencia didn't let us score many, in the second we have dominated despite them having good chances, but we deserved to progress.

"We dominated the first game but weren't clinical, today they threatened on the counter, we played our cards. I would have preferred to suffer a lot less and have everything in front of us before, Valencia were very dangerous on the counter and created problems with good players."

Barcelona will face Sevilla in May's final following Los Rojiblancos' 3-1 aggregate win over Leganes in the other final-four clash.


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Philippe Coutinho in action for Barcelona on January 28, 2018
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Coutinho hails "special" maiden Barca goal
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona19134253203343
2Atletico MadridAtletico19108127131438
3Sevilla1996431201133
4Real Madrid1910362824433
5AlavesAlaves199552219332
6Getafe197752116528
7Real Betis197572223-126
8Real Sociedad197482322125
9GironaGirona195952123-224
10Espanyol197392127-624
11Valencia1941141717023
12Levante196583035-523
13Athletic Bilbao1941052025-522
14EibarEibar195772128-722
15Leganes195771721-422
16Real Valladolid195771721-422
17Celta Vigo195683132-121
18Rayo Vallecano1954102234-1219
19Villarreal193882025-517
20Huesca1925121736-1911

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