Barcelona draw Real Madrid in Copa del Rey semi-final first leg
CGTN

Winger Malcom's second half strike secured Barcelona a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid to leave the Copa del Rey semi-final evenly poised on Wednesday after the first leg.

Brazilian Malcom, who started in place of Lionel Messi, curled home in the 58th minute to pull Barcelona level after Lucas Vazquez had fired Real Madrid ahead early on.

Messi, who suffered a thigh injury at the weekend against Valencia, appeared for the final half hour but could not help champions Barcelona find a late winner.

 Lionel Messi (L) and Casemiro (R) during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between FC Barcelona v Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, February 6, 2019. /VCG Photo

 Lionel Messi (L) and Casemiro (R) during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between FC Barcelona v Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, February 6, 2019. /VCG Photo

"Speaking generally, the draw was fair," said Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, "It was very even, everything will be decided in the second leg. There were chances for both sides to win the game. It's 50-50, even though they're at home.

"Both sides have the chance to go through," said Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who made good saves from Suarez and Malcom.

Navas continued "It was a good game. Everyone on the team worked hard when we needed to and we played well too."

21-year-old Malcom has struggled for game time since joining from Bordeaux last July as he is behind Messi, Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho in the pecking order.

Wednesday's result would also have gone some way towards healing Real's wounded pride as their last visit to the Nou Camp ended in a 5-1 La Liga thrashing last October in what turned out to be Julen Lopetegui's final game in charge.

The second leg takes place on February 27 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Source(s): Reuters