Valverde hails history-maker Messi after landmark goal

Hope Soto
January 14, 2019

Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho has found life a bit hard at the Nou Camp this season amidst a run of poor form which has seen him lose his place in Ernesto Valverde's starting lineup but it would be a huge mistake to write him off yet because the attacker still has a lot to offer.

The 26-year-old was on target against Levante in the Copa del Rey in midweek but that was his first goal since October.

Coach Ernesto Valverde while reacting to his side's 2-1 defeat in a cup game during the week ordered the player to up his game if he wants to keep his spot in the team.

Suarez was about to fall over before scoring his first goal but stayed on his feet to score a well-taken goal.

Since moving to France, though, he has been regularly linked with a return to Spain, previously with Real Madrid but more recently with Barcelona.

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Coutinho signed for Barca in January past year and was cup-tied in the Champions League, but he impressed in the second half of the campaign at Camp Nou, scoring 10 goals in 22 appearances as Barca won LaLiga and the Copa del Rey.

'When [Ousmane] Dembele wasn't playing, everyone was asking about him, ' said the Barca boss.

Coutinho became the club's most expensive signing in history when he swapped Merseyside for Barcelona but it has not all gone to plan for the club or the player. Today was a match for that", and added "Coutinho is a great player who has given us a lot and will give us a lot.

The Uruguayan again combined with Coutinho to set up the historic goal for Messi, who produced a typical low shot into bottom corner after the lay off from Suarez. I will say the same about Dembele.

Eibar were pressing high up the pitch ten minutes before time and were vulnerable to counter-attacks, however the tempo of the match slowd down towards the end of the half as Barça took the odd goal lead into the dressing room.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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