Lionel Messi missed a penalty before Oscar Melendo fired in the victor in the dying minutes of the match at the RCDE Stadium, but there's still a second leg to be played at Camp Nou next week Thursday.
Real Madrid advanced past Numancia in the Round of 16. The penalty [miss] affected us too much. I don't think [losing a game] will affect the team. "We are lucky to have that game at home, and we will have to win whatever happens". Playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Espanyol had the first line of defence with five men and the second with four players holding their ground in midfield.
The injuries are piling up for Ernesto Valverde as Samuel Umtiti, Paco Alcacer and Philippe Coutinho are still not ready to return to the Barcelona squad.
"I've been at Espanyol since the age of six", he said. It was hard for us, but we had it under control. But Lionel Messi failed to score from the spot as his penalty woes came back to haunt him.More news: '12 Strong' review: Hemsworth leads a solid wartime film
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Valverde made a number of changes to his side for the game.
Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano will miss the clash due to injury.
"Espanyol are in a good run of form, as the numbers show, " said Valverde, who guided the club to the final of the 2007 UEFA Cup at Hampden Park, where they were beaten on penalties by Sevilla. We have a lot of games close together at the moment and there are a lot of players that have played a lot.