0Shares0000Barcelona’s forward Lionel Messi controls the ball during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg football match against Espanyol January 25, 2018 © AFP / LLUIS GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Jan 26 – Lionel Messi scored what proved to be the winner as Barcelona beat Espanyol 2-0 to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Thursday in a game that saw Philippe Coutinho make his long-awaited debut.Luis Suarez scored an early opener in the quarter-final second leg before Messi’s deflected effort gave Barcelona a 2-1 aggregate advantage as the holders overturned a 1-0 deficit from last week’s first leg. Messi had missed a penalty in that match as the leaders of La Liga were beaten for the first time since August, but they did enough on Thursday to join Sevilla, Valencia and Leganes in Friday’s draw for the last four.Coutinho was named on the bench for the first time since his 160 million-euro ($192 million) transfer from Liverpool earlier this month.The 25-year-old Brazilian was introduced midway through the second half in place of Andres Iniesta, entering the Camp Nou pitch to a huge roar from the home crowd.By that point Ernesto Valverde’s men had already turned the tie around against the club for whom Coutinho played on loan from Inter Milan in 2012.“We are placing a lot of hope in Coutinho,” said Valverde.“He is going to do well for us in the game. He can help us because he knows how to create, he’s good in the one-on-one situations.“He is also a player who’s able to see the free man. We know he can be a danger with a shot or a decisive pass. I think he made a good start.”Suarez headed in Aleix Vidal’s cross from the right at the back post in the ninth minute to open the scoring on the night and level the tie on aggregate.The Uruguayan has now scored seven times in Barcelona’s last six matches.Messi scored in the 25th minute, his shot beating goalkeeper Pau Lopez with the help of a sizeable deflection off Brazilian defender Naldo.It was Barcelona’s 4,000th goal at the Camp Nou in an official game.Barcelona, who have won the Copa del Rey in the last three seasons, had a host of chances to put the tie to bed but saw out the victory, with Espanyol unable to get the away goal that would have swung the tie.On Wednesday, Real Madrid were eliminated by Leganes, a 2-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu seeing them go out on away goals and increasing the pressure further on coach Zinedine Zidane.Valencia beat Alaves on penalties while Sevilla beat Atletico Madrid 3-1 on Tuesday for a 5-1 aggregate success.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Re “Police Explorer ties to Scouts assailed” (Nov. 21): Amazing. There was a time when the LAPD competed with other departments to recruit applicant/Explorers who were Boy Scouts. The affiliation was synonymous with the core values sought in every officer, but in 2007 the mere mention of any association with them is considered “disturbing” by a member of the Police Commission. I will remember what the commissioner said the next time I read about the lowering of LAPD officer recruitment standards due to a shortage of qualified applicants applying for a job with the LAPD. We get what we seek. – R.M. Elias AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsGranada Hills Scouting Re “Police Explorer ties to Scouts assailed” (Nov. 21): As a former Scout and father of an Eagle Scout, I was amazed at LAPD Cmdr. Kirk Albanese’s statement that Explorers ” … do not get exposed to anything that the Boy Scouts of America teach.” Does he fear that future police officers may become trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent? I’m sure most of the department’s current officers do not share his disdain for virtuous leadership training. What kind of city do we live in when a top leader of our police department derides the greatest youth organization in America? – Richard Nonn Northridge Stepping up Re “Running deep in the red” (Nov. 15): I read that the California budget will soon be $10 billion in debt. Here’s my question: Which of the state politicians below will be the first to take a pay cut until the budget is balanced? Mike Feuer, Jack Scott, George Runner, Tom McClintock, Alex Padilla, Sheila Kuehl, Gilbert Cidella, Sharon Runner, Audra Strickland, Cameron Smyth, Lloyd Lavine, Julia Brownley, Paul Krekorian and Anthony Portantino, are you listening? Stand up and be counted! – R.J. Johnson North Hollywood Nothing new Re “Developer bills go to taxpayers” (Nov. 19): So what else is new – scamming the taxpayer is the politicians’ way of life. They cry the blues at election time and everyone falls for it. People go to jail for committing robberies; not them – they get a raise. If they are not intelligent enough to know if they are charging enough for permits, they should not be there. How much longer can we afford to support these people who won’t work for the people who pay their wages? – Joe Pinoy Lozano Mission Hills Going nuclear The GOP presidential candidates are falling all over themselves claiming that their administrations will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Very macho. Short of invasion and occupation, how do they plan to stop any nation from using the technology that’s been available for 50 years? If we could deter any nation from this course of action, why didn’t we stop Pakistan? Or India … or China? Or North Korea (who we’re paying to not again test theirs)? In the next presidential administration, four new nations will go nuclear. And most will do so to prevent pre-emptive attacks by the U.S. – Stan Gordon Encino Spinning Regarding Bill O’Reilly’s column against the movie “Redacted,” it must be noted that O’Reilly’s revulsion does not extend to the money the movie generates. Commercials for the movie appeared on Fox during the O’Reilly show. So Bill, you’re saying don’t spend the money to see the movie; that’s unethical. But, it’s OK to take their money and air commercials to make people want to see the abhorrent movie. I have to lay down now, my head is spinning. – Linda Hazeski Santa Clarita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!