Nelson Semedo backs Barcelona team-mate Philippe Coutinho amid testing times

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Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo has stood by team-mate Philippe Coutinho in these testing times for the Brazilian.

The record-signing has received stick from critics and fans alike for his poor season.

To his credit, Coutinho is showing some improvements in the last couple of weeks and even scored a screamer to nail the coffin on Manchester United in the Champions League.

However, he has still been at the receiving end of some criticism, mainly directed towards his celebration.

Semedo maintained that he backs the Brazilian and knows how hard he is working to get back to his best.

The Portuguese also expressed his thoughts on how Coutinho has already demonstrated what he can do with the ball and is still doubted by everyone.

“I am 100 percent with Coutinho,” he said after the match, according to Marca.

“I know what has been working to improve and to help the team.

“He has already demonstrated his abilities and I do not understand why people doubt his quality.”

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Barcelona midfielder Arthur in awe of playing alongside Lionel Messi

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Arthur and Lionel Messi.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur says he’s in awe of Lionel Messi after getting an up-close look at what his star team-mate is capable of.

Arthur is in his first season at the club having joined from Gremio last summer, and has instantly become a vital player in Ernesto Valverde’s squad, having made 38 appearances for La Blaugrana and establishing himself as a first-choice midfielder.

The 22-year-old has impressed with his passing range and intelligence on the ball, and Arthur has hailed the impact of playing alongside Messi as he’s adapted to his new club.

Speaking after Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, a result that leaves Valverde’s side needing just two more wins to secure a second straight La Liga title, Arthur revealed how Messi has helped players like himself and fellow summer recruit Malcom this season.

“It’s a strange feeling, even today I say to myself, “Oh wow it’s Messi,'” Arthur said, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

“Messi is amazing, on and off the field. He is our technical leader and in the dressing room, he is fantastic, he reads football like nobody else, he is extremely intelligent.

“He talks not only with me, with everyone, with Malcolm, with all of us who are new, he speaks and is interested in our adaptation.”

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Watch: Ernesto Valverde comments on Barcelona struggle after Manchester United

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Jordi Alba celebrates his winner against Real Sociedad

Barcelona took another step towards their 26th La Liga title on Sunday, beating visitors Real Sociedad 2-1 at the Camp Nou.

Ernesto Valverde’s side now lead title rivals Atletico Madrid by nine points at the top of La Liga’s standings with five rounds of fixtures to come.

That means Barca can wrap up the silverware with three games to go if they beat Alaves on Tuesday and then take all three points in next Saturday’s game against Levante.

Lionel Messi set up Jordi Alba’s 64th-minute winning goal, but the Argentine failed to add to his tally of 596 goals for the club in all competitions.


Hear what Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde had to say about the victory in the clip above.









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