Espanyol stun Barca

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Jan 2018 10:22:51


 

CORNELLA DE LLOBREGAT (Spain),

ESPANYOL handed FC Barcelona a rare loss in the first leg of their Copa del Rey football quarter-final, getting a goal from Oscar Melendo in the 89th minute to pull off the 1-0 upset here.
The city rivals of the Catalan giants scarcely looked to attack during the first-half although the game at RCDE Stadium on Wednesday remained scoreless due to Barça’s lack of offensive precision, reports Efe.


The visitors forced a corner kick in the early going on a long
blast by Sergio Busquets that Espanyol goalie Diego Lopez tipped away. The host net minder later corralled a shot on goal in the 22nd minute by Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, who was far from his normal brilliance.
Barça’s best scoring opportunity of the first-half came in the 44th minute on a shot by Spanish striker Denis Suarez that went just wide of the left upright.


Messi did the honours on the spot kick, but he was denied by a diving Lopez in a momentum-shifting play.
Quique Sanchez Flores’ men appeared to ride the euphoria of their fans, entering Barça’s territory more regularly and forcing net minder Jasper Cillessen to stop a David Lopez header and later dive to get a hand on a free kick by Marc Navarro in the 82nd minute.