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Espanyol 1-0 FC Barcelona: 5 Talking Points

Espanyol v Barcelona - Spanish Copa del Rey
FC Barcelona lost a crucial first leg tie in the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals against Espanyol
Sumedh Pande
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 01 Apr 2020, 17:29 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Score: Espanyol 1-0 FC Barcelona 

Goalscorer: Oscar Melendo 88' 

FC Barcelona lost a football match. I repeat, FC Barcelona have lost a game of football. 29 matches and 5 months later, the Catalans suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of their local rivals. Espanyol won the first leg of the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals 1-0 thanks to a late winner from substitute Oscar Melendo, the 20-year-old local lad. 

FC Barcelona had a number of chances to win this game including a penalty. But Lionel Messi failed to score from the spot as his penalty woes came back to haunt him. On that note, let's discuss this game in further detail and look at the five key talking points that emerged from Barcelona's shock 1-0 defeat against Espanyol.


#5 Espanyol's tactics stifle FC Barcelona

Espanyol v Barcelona - Spanish Copa del Rey
Espanyol's tactics paid off

With Luis Suarez rested and Andres Iniesta out injured, FC Barcelona's starting lineup lacked creativity from the word go. Espanyol sensed that and sat deep in the first half, making the visitors work hard for their chances. Playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Espanyol had the first line of defence with five men and the second with four players holding their ground in midfield. 

Gerard Moreno was left for scraps in the first half up top while his side looked to contain the threat of the opponents. Quique Sanchez Flores, the Espanyol manager then made positive substitutions in the second half and tried to move further up the pitch. 

It resulted in a brilliant contest in the final quarter of the game with the hosts sneaking with a goal right at the end. Flores' Espanyol closed down spaces well and made Barcelona work a bit extra which led to their downfall. This result gives them a great chance of turning the odds in the second leg and knocking the reigning champions out of the competition. 

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Published 18 Jan 2018, 09:18 IST
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