Lenglet heads late winner as Barcelona avoid Copa del Rey upset

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Clement Lenglet headed a last-gasp winner as a much-changed Barcelona began their Copa del Rey defence with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at minnows Cultural Leonesa.

Lenglet, a second half substitute, broke the hearts of the battling third tier side in the first minute of injury time after a tight contest at the Estadio Reino de Leon.

Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen had earlier made some fine saves to deny Leonesa, who play in Spain’s Segunda Division B.

Leonesa ended with 10 men after Sergio Marcos was dismissed in the fourth minute of time added on.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde made 11 changes from the side that thrashed rivals Real Madrid 5-1 in El Clasico at the weekend.

Malcom, who has featured little since his controversial summer move from Bordeaux, was given an opportunity along with Cillessen, Ousmane Dembele and Arturo Vidal. A host of youngsters also featured for LaLiga’s leaders.

Leonesa did not seem to lack motivation and made a superb start with Zelu shooting narrowly wide and then forcing Cillessen into a good save.

Zelu then troubled Barca with some dangerous crosses but Jorge Ortiz saw a header blocked and Ivan Gonzalez missed the target.

It was not until the latter stages of the first half that Barca, who lost Sergi Samper to injury, began to threaten themselves. Munir El Haddadi and Carles Alena both had efforts blocked.

Malcom shot wide and fired another effort over the bar early in the second half but Leonesa remained a threat with Ortiz and Sergio Marcos testing Cillessen.

Cillessen made another fine save to deny Ivan Gonzalez after 75 minutes and both sides had further chances in a thrilling finish.

Juan Miranda fired narrowly wide for Barca and Lenglet headed over from a Dembele free-kick.

Ortiz had another opening at the other end but could not hit the target.

El Haddadi missed another chance four minutes from time but Barca pressed to the end and were rewarded in injury time when French defender Lenglet headed home from another Dembele delivery.

Leonesa’s disappointment was compounded when Marcos was sent off for a second bookable offence.

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