Spanish third-tier minnows Villanovense enjoyed the most famous night of their history as they held an under-strength Barcelona 0-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie on Wednesday.
Villanovense play at the same level as Barca’s B team in the regional Second Division B, but they more than held their own in a game of very few chances and came closest to scoring just before half-time when Victor Calatrava’s flick flew inches over the bar.
The sides will meet again for the right to reach the last 16 at the Camp Nou on December 2.
Barca coach Luis Enrique made nine changes to the side that beat Eibar 3-1 at the weekend with Marc Bartra and Sandro Ramirez the only two players to keep their places.
Indeed, five Barca players were making their first start of the season, including Cameroonian midfielder Wilfrid Kaptoum, who made his first-team debut.
Roared on by a capacity crowd of under 4 000, the hosts started brightly and had the first attempt on goal when Pablo Angel Moraga fired just wide of the far post.
Barca ‘keeper Jordi Masip was also forced into the first save of the game when he collected Elias’s effort.
However, the visitors slowly began to take control of the game as Gerard Gumbau flashed a shot wide before Munir El Haddadi ought to have opened the scoring when he failed to hit the target from close range.
Villanovense’s chance for glory came just before the break when Calatrava acrobatically flicked on a corner at the near post and the ball flew just over with Masip beaten.
Barca had the better chances after the break as Sandro’s piledriver went just over and another debutant, substitute Aitor Cantalapiedra, had a strong penalty appeal turned down.
Villanovense had to rely on goalkeeper Jose Antonio Fuentes for the first time in the final 10 minutes as he made smart stops from Bartra and El Haddadi, but the hosts held out for a famous result.