Defending champions Barcelona have their work cut out after they were stunned by rivals Espanyol 1-0 in the Catalan Derby in what was the first leg of their Spanish Copa Del Rey quarterfinal clash.
The Spanish La Liga leaders dominated proceedings and should have gone ahead from the spot in the 62nd minute but star player Lionel Messi missed it.
The Nou Camp giants were thereafter punished for not taking the big opportunity that came their way as Espanyol’s Spanish midfielder Oscar Melendo scored with two minutes left on the clock to stun the visiting team Barcelona who had little time for any response.
The defeat, the first against Espanyol since 2009, was the first loss of the regular season for Barcelona with their last defeat coming in their Spanish Super Cup second leg match with arch rivals Real Madrid before the current season started.
Atletico Madrid surprisingly succumbed to a rare 2-1 defeat at home to Sevilla in their last eight 1st leg clash at the new Wanda Metropolitano.
Diego Costa gave the hosts a 73rd minute lead before two late goals in the 80th and 88th minute from Jesus Navas and Joaquin Correa respectively handed Sevilla an unlikely win.
In the final Copa Del Rey clash on Wednesday night, Valencia beat 10-man Alaves 2-1 at the Mestalla.
The visitors took the lead through Ruben Sobrino before Goncalo Guedes equalise for Marcelino’s men. They were thereafter handed a lifeline to take an advantage into the second leg after defender Adrian Dieguez was sent off for two yellow cards.
Rodrigo pounced to give his side a 2-1 lead into the second leg as they capitalise on the man advantage.
The second leg clashes will take place next week Wednesday (January 24).
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