In a night of domestic cup action around Europe, Malaga pulled off the surprise of the evening on Wednesday by drawing 2-2 in the first-leg of its Copa del Rey quarterfinal away to
Barcelona—with 10 men, no less.
The visitors took the lead in the first half through Manuel Iturra, who took advantage of a poor clearance from Barca keeper Jose Manuel Pinto. The host then scored two goals in quick succession thanks to Lionel Messi and Carles Puyol to make it 2-1 to Barca just four minutes after Iturra’s opener. After that, Chile international Alexis Sanchez missed two golden opportunities to extend Barca’s lead, for which he received whistles from the crowd. Then, 15 minutes from time, Nacho Monreal was sent off for taking down Pedro in what was a clear scoring chance. Despite being reduced to ten men, Nacho Camacho was able to pull the score level with one minute remaining.
Barca, which rested several stars including Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Xavi and Cesc Fábregas, now has to win the return leg at Malaga if it wants to stay in the competition.