Valverde: Barca ‘deserve to progress’ to Copa final

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde had no complaints after Thursday’s 2-0 win over Valencia saw them through to the Copa del Rey final.

Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic found the net at the Mestalla to make it a 3-0 win on aggregate after Luis Suarez scored in the first leg, and they will now face Sevilla in the final.

"We faced a team who were very motivated with a city behind them," Valverde said after the win.

"In the first leg, Valencia didn't let us score many, in the second we have dominated despite them having good chances, but we deserve 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. The move where they hit the post could have put them through."

Coutinho broke the deadlock early in the second half after replacing Andre Gomes off the bench, with Valverde saying "I saw the change clearly, we had to move things up.

"Andre was helping us with strength but we needed more going forwards and to do something with the domination we had," Valverde added. "I normally wait to make changes, but this time I saw it clearly."

The Brazilian playmaker scored just moments after the substitution, assisted by another former Liverpool forward in Luis Suarez, and was delighted with his first goal for his new club.

"Reaching this final is a very special moment for me, but there are still plenty of games before then," Coutinho told Gol TV.

"It’s a very happy day for me because I was looking to score my first goal sooner. I did it here and helped the team reach the final with it.

"It’ll be difficult like all finals, but it’ll also be a great game and we have plenty of time to prepare for it."