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Philippe Coutinho has applauded Lionel Messi for handing him the responsibility to take the morale-boosting spot-kick that that helped Barcelona thrash Sevilla to claim a semi-final spot in the Copa del Rey.

The Brazilian has struggled for form this term after falling behind Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order, but with Frenchman still recuperating from hamstring injury, club boss Ernesto Valverde, handed him a life-line in Barcelona's front-line.

And during Wednesday's tie against Sevilla at Camp Nou, Coutinho netted twice, to help Barca thrash the away side 6-1 on the night and 6-3 aggregate after losing the first leg 2-0.

Messi staged a return during the clash after missing the first leg and paled an important role in the final outcome of the game.

The Argentine was brought down by Quincy Promes in the vital area but he handed the responsibility Coutinho to net the opener after beating Juan Soriano.

The quartets of Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez, Sergi Roberto and Messi. were all on target as Barca sealed qualification for the final match

"The penalty has come naturally," Coutinho was quoted as saying on Barca TV.

"Leo's gesture shows how great it is.

"Thanks to Leo, for letting me kick the penalty, that's good for the confidence of the group.

"We knew that to overcome, we had to be involved from the beginning," the Brazilian added.

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