China’s star footballer Wu Lei scored a late equaliser for Espanyol against city rivals Barcelona to secure a 2-2 draw at the Estadio Cornella El Prat on Saturday night. The goal marked a historic first for Chinese football as Wu became the first player from China to score against Barcelona in any competition. Spanish newspaper AS hinted at the goal’s significance with a headline declaring that it would be seen by “one billion people”. The game kicked off at 4am Beijing time. One fan in the stadium grabbed global attention as he was celebrating Wu’s equaliser despite wearing a Barcelona shirt. 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 The supporter, who was reported to be Chinese, attracted a lot of attention and comments on social media. Several Chinese social media users praised his patriotism for supporting Wu Lei over Barcelona. The goal made headlines in China and Spain, while “Wu Lei goal” was the most searched team on Weibo – a rarity for a sports story. Chinese and Spanish media posted the photograph of Wu as a teenager posing with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero when he was a ball boy for the Argentina team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 1 - Wu Lei is the first Chinese player to score vs @FCBarcelona in all competitions ever. Historic @RCDEspanyol #Derby #EspanyolBarca pic.twitter.com/bZSyfn8bGz — OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 4, 2020 On Saturday he shared a pitch with Messi in La Liga for the second time as a player and while the media fanfare in China was not as loud as for that game in the build-up, there have been scores of articles since Wu scored. Wu was happy, he said in his post-match interview. “I am very happy today, not only because we scored against Barcelona, but also because we scored a very important point,” he said. The striker described how he and Matias Vargas, who assisted him for the goal, had plotted the goal while on the bench. “He said that he would pass me a beautiful ball, and in the game, he really did.” View this post on Instagram Congratulations to Wu Lei who just won the Golden Boot award of Chinese Super League! He is the best football player in China and both of us are ambassadors for China's most popular football app Dongqiudi. #China #Beijing #Olympic #Football #Goldenboot #Chinesesuperleague #Dongqiudi A post shared by Sergio Leonel Agüero (@kunaguero) on Nov 12, 2018 at 2:23pm PST Wu, who is the only Chinese player in Europe’s top five leagues, also praised his teammates and the fans. “We are a family,” he said. The 28-year-old started on the bench for the hosts, who are bottom of the La Liga table, but they took a shock lead against the champions and league leaders. David Lopez put Espanyol in front before goals from Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal put Barcelona ahead. Enter Wu. Really into this lad in a Barcelona shirt cheering Wu Lei's equaliser. pic.twitter.com/WJszuSXIJf — Jonathan White (@jmawhite) January 5, 2020 The Chinese forward joined the fray in the 74th minute just before the momentum swung Espanyol’s way when Barcelona’s young Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong was sent off after his second booking. Wu had an immediate impact, causing problems for the Barcelona defence and creating a number of chances. In just 20 minutes of action the China international had six chances. Then, with two minutes left of normal time, Wu made history. H I S T O R Y Wu Lei becomes the first Chinese player EVER to score against Barça! ⚽️ #EspanyolBarça pic.twitter.com/2Xy59cYwrE — LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 4, 2020 Wu slipped on to a pass from Vargas and fired a right-foot finish across Barcelona goalkeeper Neto, from a tight angle he found the bottom corner to send the home fans and many watching back in China wild. In scoring, Wu became the first Chinese player to score against Barcelona in any competition but more importantly for his club, it also secured a valuable point as they try to retain their top- flight status. The club, who are four points off safety, are on their third manager of the season. Espanyol appointed former Barcelona defender Abelardo Fernandez as manager after their last game and this was his first game in charge. A Chinese fan celebrating Wu Lei's goal. Perfect example of how lots of Chinese fans watched this game today. They may have been Barca fans for many years, but actually everyone is supporting #rcde . @RCDEspanyol pic.twitter.com/zfMRXlRoCA — ChinaFootball (@CNFootballWatch) January 4, 2020 Abelardo is Wu’s fourth manager since he signed for the Spanish side from Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG a year ago. “This is a point that makes me proud. As we all know, our players have encountered difficulties and the team is in trouble. Players are the most wanting to change the situation. This point will help us to reverse the situation. “The presence of Wu Lei and Vargas improved the standard of the team,” he said, while adding that the man advantage also helped. I literally cried after Wu Lei scored his goal. The team and the fans fought for 90 mins. An important point, but what is more important is the faith and confidence. Vamos!!! #rcde @RCDEspanyol pic.twitter.com/VA1VqCxual — ChinaFootball (@CNFootballWatch) January 4, 2020 Espanyol’s next game is against SS Reyes in the Copa del Rey next weekend before they play Villareal in La Liga on January 19. The side resume their Europa League campaign next month when they play Chinese-owned English Premier League side Wolves.