Messi misses penalty, Barcelona loses to Espanyol in Copa

Mario Hermoso Espanyol

Messi misses penalty, Barcelona loses to Espanyol in Copa

Perhaps the realisation that it as going to be one of those nights dawned when, in the sixty-second minute, Lionel Messi saw his penalty saved by the Espanyol keeper, Diego Lopez, after Sergi Roberto had been fouled.

It's the first of three matchups in a few-week span between the two sides, with Barcelona hosting the second leg on January 25 before Espanyol hosts a league match on February 4.

"We have several players injured and he's training well".

In losing 1-0, Barcelona were defeated for the first time in all competitions since the start of the campaign, where they lost both Super Cup final games to Real Madrid.

Barcelona were winning despite him, not because of him, as they often did in his first three seasons at Camp Nou.

Barcelona hit their stride in the coach's new 4-4-2 system but Suarez lagged behind, missing Neymar, who left for Paris St Germain in the middle of previous year.

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).

"The result is not good for us". It was hard for us, but we had it under control. "We have to come back".

"As well, they will try to take advantage of playing at home".

However, in an update coming courtesy of Spanish outlet Marca this afternoon, the worries surrounding Paulinho's foot problem look to have been put to bed, with claims that the former Corinthians man could even be fit for Barca's La Liga matchup with Real Betis this weekend.

"The penalty save gave them courage".

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