CATALAN, Spain, Fen 7 – Malcom’s second-half strike salvaged a 1-1 draw for Barcelona as Real Madrid proved every bit their equal in a frantic Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg encounter at the Nou Camp.
With Lionel Messi only fit enough to start on the bench, Barcelona’s captain could only watch on as Lucas Vazquez gave Real an early lead (6) in the second Clasico of the season.
Barca responded after the break through Malcom (57), but even with Messi introduced midway through the half, Real managed to subdue rather than succumb to the Argentine.
Substitute Gareth Bale even spurned a late chance to hand Real victory, but Santiago Solari’s side will be buoyed by their performance ahead of the return leg at the Bernabeu in three weeks’ time – particularly as they lost 5-1 away to their great rivals just four months ago.
Full report to follow…
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