BY WALTER HOYOS | SportingAlert.com
Published on Jan. 30, 2013 5:57 p.m. CST . 1 comment
MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Barcelona and Real Madrid played to a 1-1 draw in their Copa del Rey first leg semi-final at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Watch Video Highlights of Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
After playing to a scoreless first half, Barcelona took the lead through Cesc Fabregas, who fired home past Diego Lopez in the 50th minute.
Lionel Messi stole the ball in the Real Madrid area and squeezed Fabregas through.
“This is obviously a good result; we are in the Bernabeu, a very tough field, and we will have our own fans behind us for the return leg of the draw,” Fabregas said.
And the visitors should of extended its lead afterward, striker Pedro failed to beat Lopez on a one-on-one attempt.
Lopez was also forced to pull off a brilliant save in the second half, while Raphael Varane cleared an early attempt from Xavi off the line.
Xavi had also hit the crossbar in the first half.
“These matches are always difficult and I had said that in all probability the semifinals would likely be decided in Barcelona and that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” said Barcelona coach Jordi Roura.
Gerard Pique superbly stopped Cristiano Ronaldo from scoring the leveller at the other end, but 19-year-old Varane finally grabbed the equalising goal nine-minutes from time when he headed home past Jose Pinto.
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova missed the game as he was in the United States undergoing more medical tests.
Both teams will now have it to do again in the second leg at the Nou Camp on 27 February.
The winner of that game will face the winner of the other semi-final between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
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