Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends Barcelona's unbeaten run

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

Espanyol's midfielder Oscar Melendo (left) celebrates his goal.   -  AFP

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 quarterfinals.

A dominant Barca looked as though it would have to settle for a goalless draw after Messi saw his second-half spot kick saved by Diego Lopez, but worse was to come for the Liga frontrunner.

Espanyol caught it on the break late on and youngster Melendo provided a neat finish for his first senior goal, inflicting a first defeat on Barca since its Supercopa de Espana losses to Real Madrid.

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

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

It should have taken the lead just after the hour mark 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.

In an incident that will likely result in a sanction for Espanyol, Barca goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen appeared to get caught in the face by something thrown from the stands 13 minutes from the end.

Thankfully he was fine to continue and he made a strong save to push Marco Navarro's fierce free-kick effort over.

But he was helpless a few moments from the end when Melendo latched on to Navarro's well-placed cut-back and steered a cushioned left-footed finish into the bottom-left corner, ending Barca's 29-match unbeaten run.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :