Espanyol favourites after first-leg win - Barcelona boss Valverde

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Marco Asensio struck a last-gasp victor as Real Madrid edged to a 1-0 win at Leganes in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday.

For the first time this season, Barcelona suffered the indignity of defeat.

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. This result gives them a great chance of turning the odds in the second leg and knocking the reigning champions out of the competition. "We have to come back". "We are lucky to have that game at home, and we will have to win whatever happens".

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"The favourite at the end is the one who is winning, who has an advantage, in the same way as when we drew in Vigo [against Celta in the last 16]", Valverde said. "We will try to turn it around". "This is my first goal with Espanyol and as a professional".

"This victory is important for the history of the club and to break down all those walls", said Espanyol coach Quique Sanchez Flores. The visiting side went ahead through Ruben Sobrino in the 66th minute but Portugal worldwide Goncalo Guedes levelled for Valencia in the 73rd. Barcelona had Suarez on the bench and Denis Suarez with Aleix Vidal on either side of Messi in the attack.

Inter are restricted by how much transfer business they can do in January due to Financial Fair Play rules, and are unable to purchase Rafinha outright until the summer.

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