Wu Lei’s equalising goal for Espanyol against Barcelona has sparked a wave of praises from media and fans in China.
Wu scored in the 88th minute to earn a 2-2 draw for Espanyol on Saturday as he drove a shot past the Barca goalkeeper Norberto Neto from narrow-angle after receiving a pass from Matias Vargas, reports Xinhua news agency.
“You are a burst of light in the dark! Wu Lei saves his team as a substitute and makes history to score against Barcelona,” football website Dongquidi titled an article with Wu’s scoring video, which was viewed by 1.3 million people.
“Wu Lei’s goal” has become the top search at China’s twitter-like platform Weibo.com, a rare condition for sports news.
Chinese football has been suffering a wave of criticism after the national team lost to Syria 2-1 in the World Cup qualifier, which resulted in Italian Marcello Lippi’s quit as head coach in November.
Chinese broadcaster CCTV commentator He Wei wrote in his microblog that Wu Lei’s goal brought a rare happiness to the Chinese fans in the trough of Chinese football.
“In one of the darkest times of Chinese football, a goal from Wu Lei could spark such joys. Come on, Chinese football!,” he wrote.
Wu is the first Chinese player to score against Barcelona in official matches. The goal was the 29-year-old’s second this season and fifth since he joined the Spanish club in 2019.