Philippe Coutinho made his first appearance for Barcelona since his staggering £142m move from Liverpool, and fans were in accord over his performance on Thursday.
Barcelona hosted rivals Espanyol in the Copa del Rey, which saw them needing to turn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi’s first-half goals saw them safely through to the semi-finals.
However, the win was overshadowed by the debut of the second most expensive player in history. Coutinho came off the bench just after the hour mark, replacing Andres Iniesta and reveicing a raucous ovation.
It didn’t take long for the Brazilian to get into the action as his first touch was a nutmeg on an Espanyol player which subsequently won Barca a free-kick.
? 68: second change for Barça ???
? Andres Iniesta off
? Coutinho on #CopaBarça (2-0) (2-1 agg.)
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 25, 2018
Fans were certainly pleased with his brief cameo. Here’s reaction from supporters on Twitter from his first outing for Blaugrana:
Coutinho looks like he’s been playing at Barça all his life..
— Fiaz Hamzath (@fiazhamzath) January 25, 2018
Shouldn’t be surprised given he cost €160 million etc… but Coutinho looks right at home at Camp Nou already.
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) January 25, 2018
Coutinho fits Valverde’s system perfectly. That left midfield role was basically made for him.
— EiF (@EiFSoccer) January 25, 2018
Coutinho’s performance last night? ? Man is playing as if he has been here for years.
— Steve Barca (@Stevecaresx) January 26, 2018
Doesn’t seem like it will take too long for Coutinho to adapt to Barça’s game. Brilliantly sets up Luís Suárez, almost an assist.
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) January 25, 2018
Coutinho and the rest of the players played together in a previous life.
— Ramzi ?? (@footballmood) January 25, 2018
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