Lionel Messi had a penalty saved as triple King’s Cup holders Barcelona suffered a surprise 1-0 loss at city rivals Espanyol in a quarter-final first leg on Wednesday, ending an unbeaten run of 29 games in all competitions.
Espanyol’s academy graduate Oscar Melendo crashed in the only goal of the game in the 88th minute after Messi had his spot-kick turned away by former Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez earlier in the second half.
Barca had not lost to Espanyol since 2009 and this was their first defeat by their local rivals in the Cup since 1970. The last game they had lost in any competition was in the Spanish Super Cup to Real Madrid on Aug. 16.
The second leg of the tie at the Nou Camp is on Jan. 25.