Match Report: Injury-hit Real Madrid scramble late leveller in Clasico against Barcelona

Real Madrid 1 Barcelona 1

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The Independent Football

Cesc Fabregas struck what may prove a priceless away goal as holders Barcelona drew 1-1 at depleted arch rivals Real Madrid in an entertaining and closely-fought Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.

Lionel Messi sent Fabregas clear five minutes after half-time at the Bernabeu stadium enjoying the second “Clasico” of the season and he finished with ease past Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Real face Manchester United in the Champions League next month and Barça missed several clear chances to extend their lead before Real centre-back Raphael Varane crowned a fine performance by leaping to head home an equaliser from a Mesut Özil delivery seven minutes from time.

Despite having a slight advantage for the second leg at the Nou Camp at the end of next month, Barça may live to regret not scoring more against a Real team missing regular keeper and captain Iker Casillas and Pepe through injury and Sergio Ramos because of suspension.