Home Sports ESPANYOL 1 BARCELONA 0: MELENDO ENDS UNBEATEN RUN

ESPANYOL 1 BARCELONA 0: MELENDO ENDS UNBEATEN RUN

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Young substitute Oscar Melendo beat Jasper Cillessen with two minutes to go as Espanyol inflicted Barcelona’s first defeat since August.

Oscar Melendo’s late goal saw Espanyol snatch a 1-0 win and inflict a first defeat on Barcelona since August, after Lionel Messi failed to score a penalty in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

A dominant Barca looked as though they would have to settle for a goalless draw after Messi saw his second-half spot kick saved by Diego Lopez on Wednesday, but little did they know that things were to get even worse.

Espanyol caught them on the break late on and youngster Melendo provided a neat finish for his first senior goal, inflicting a first defeat on Barca since the Spanish Supercopa.

Barca were on top from start to finish and created more than enough chances to take a victory back to Camp Nou.

But for all their control, the first half proved particularly frustrating, as clear-cut chances were hard to come by and when the visitors did manage to craft an opening, the opportunity was wasted or saved.

They should have taken the lead just after the hour when Messi stepped up from 12 yards out, but Lopez rescued Espanyol with a brilliant save and Melendo – introduced from the bench – struck two minutes from time to secure an unlikely victory for the home side.