Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0 (Copa del Rey)

Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0 (Copa del Rey)

Valencia also scored two late goals in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over 10-man Alaves.

Winger Dembele had only recently returned from nearly four months out with a hamstring injury which saw him make just three appearances following a then club-record £96.8million transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

Lionel Messi missed yet another penalty kick and Barcelona lost for the first time in 29 matches, falling to Espanyol 1-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday.

"We bore the brunt of the game and they waited for us to take advantage of their game plan", Valverde said after the match.

"We won't over dramatise (this injury) either".

Like Pique, midfielder Busquets played down the significance of the end of Barcelona's unbeaten run, which falls short of the club's record of 39 games without defeat (under Luis Enrique in 2015-16). I have no doubt that the player will overcome it. "We have to come back". Speaking to, Valverde said that the saved penalty "may have been the turning point".

"You need to try not to have bad spells in knockout ties because they can prove costly".

"We wanted to do the same as always [in terms of the way they approached the game], but they defended well, they got it right in the move for the goal and Diego Lopez's penalty stop".

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores was full of praise for Melendo who scored the winning goal for the hosts.

But Valverde tried to play down the concerns of the fans after pointing out that that the new blow is much less serious than the previous one.

Like this: