'Great player' Coutinho must fight for Barca spot, says Valverde

'Great player' Coutinho must fight for Barca spot, says Valverde

11-Jan-2019 01:00:17 | Yahoo Sports

Ernesto Valverde urged Philippe Coutinho to continue fighting for his position following the playmaker's goal-scoring return to Barcelona's starting XI. Coutinho started a domestic match for the first time since December 2 and converted an 85th-minute penalty as a much-changed Barca lost 2-1 at Levante in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie. The Brazil star's goal - his first since the 5-1 crushing of Real Madrid in October - gave the holders reason for optimism ahead of next week's return leg, having fallen two goals behind in the opening 18 minutes at Ciutat de Valencia.

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