Messi misses penalty, Espanyol win first leg

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Second-leg prospects: "The team that are ahead [going into the second leg] are the favourites".

The second leg of the encounter takes place at the Nou Camp on Thursday, 25 January, and the winners on aggregate will advance to the semis. Speaking to fcbarcelona.com, Valverde said that the saved penalty "may have been the turning point". "We know already playing Espanyol at Cornella is hard". The penalty miss may have affected us too much but at the Camp Nou we will have our chances. Now the result doesn't favour us.

THERE were ugly scenes at Espanyol on Wednesday night with Barcelona stopper Jasper Cillessen being hit by a missile.

"This victory is important for the history of the club and to break down all those walls", said Espanyol coach Quique Sanchez Flores. "The attitude was good and the players wanted to overcome the difficulties presented to them". [Espanyol] has a plan to sit back and to close down space in the middle.

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Having scored eight goals last season under former boss Luis Enrique, it was expected that he would be given a chance by new boss Ernesto Valverde but just one appearances since returning from injury has seen him linked with a move.

Valverde made a number of changes to his side for the game. Barcelona had Suarez on the bench and Denis Suarez with Aleix Vidal on either side of Messi in the attack. The visiting side went ahead through Ruben Sobrino in the 66th minute but Portugal global Goncalo Guedes levelled for Valencia in the 73rd.

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

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