Wu the man! Chinese star Wu Lei upstages Messi as he makes history with late equalizer for Espanyol vs Barcelona (VIDEO)
Wu, 28, came on as a second-half substitute and rescued a point for bottom-of-the-table Espanyol with a fine finish in the 88th minute at Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.
Latching onto a through-ball from Matías Vargas, Wu fired across Barca ‘keeper Neto to level the scores at 2-2 – and become the first Chinese player ever to score against the famous Catalan giants.
The 1st goal from Chinese players vs Barcelona (or Real Madrid): 2 mins remaining, 1 goal down, Wu Lei, after being brought into action late in the game,equalized for Espanyol in front of home fans through a shot from tight angle, in the debut of the new coach Abelardo Fernandez. pic.twitter.com/5n6WBe7Ak8— Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) January 5, 2020
It was a goal which will have delighted the masses following back home in China, where Wu’s career is followed closely as the only player from his country to ply his trade in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
It was also potentially a crucial strike in the context of Espanyol’s battle for La Liga survival, helping them edge onto 11 points at the foot of the table, still four points clear of safety. For Messi and Barcelona, a point was still enough to lift them back to the top of La Liga ahead of great rivals Real Madrid, but only on goal difference.
“I am very happy today, not only because we scored against Barcelona, but also because we scored a very important point,” Wu said afterwards.
Hosts Espanyol had taken the lead in the 23rd minute through David Lopez, before two goals in 10 second-half minutes from Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal put title-chasing Barcelona on course for victory.
However, Barca saw midfielder Frenkie de Jong sent off for a second yellow card 15 minutes from time – before Wu struck right at the death.
Striker Wu emerged as a star in his native Chinese Super League, top scoring in the league for Shanghai SIPG before moving to Espanyol during the transfer window at the start of 2019.
Described by some as “the Chinese Maradona,” he’s since scored nine times in 48 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan club, including becoming the first Chinese player to score in European competition when he netted for Espanyol against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Europa League group stages in October.Also on rt.com Wu-hoo! Espanyol's Lei becomes 1st Chinese player to score in European competition