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Teammates Defend Coutinho for Celebration

Phillipe Coutinho’s Barcelona teammates have defended the Brazilian’s goal celebration after scoring in Barca’s 3-0 win over Manchester United on Tuesday.

Coutinho scored the final goal in a 4-0 aggregate win from outside the area and immediately turned to the Nou Camp faithful with his fingers in his ears.

The ex-Liverpool man has come in for criticism since joining the club last January for a fee of £114m and there are suggestions Barca would already be willing to cut their losses.

Coutinho’s celebration appeared to be in response to critics in the home crowd and he enjoyed the backing of his colleagues.

“I do not care about the celebration, what matters to me is the goal. Coutinho is a great player, he has balls,” said Clement Lenglet.

Sergio Busquets added, “I did not see anything. I know he celebrated with anger, with desire. It was an important goal for him after the criticism he has received. He is a world- class player.”

However, former Barcelona attacker and compatriot Rivaldo thinks the gesture was ill- advised, “It is never good to do this with fans,” he told Marca.

“It wasn’t a good gesture. He scored a great goal, but fans criticise players when they know they can give more.

“I don’t know what happens for the rest of the week, what he reads in the papers or sees on TV, but he has to keep working, think of the next game and score more goals.

“If he keeps scoring goals and playing well, everything will change for him.”


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