Valencia draw Barcelona in Copa del Rey semis first leg

Valencia draw Barcelona in Copa del Rey semis first legMadrid, Feb 2 - FC Barcelona and Valencia drew the first leg of their Spanish Copa del Rey semi-final 1-1 at the Mestalla Stadium.

Valencia opened the scoring through Jonas Goncalves, only for Carles Puyol to equalise for Barca with both goals coming in the first half of a highly contested match Wednesday.

With his side having looked visibly tired last Saturday in Villarreal, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola chose to rest key players Xavi Hernandez and Dani Alves, with Isaac Cuenca, who signed a new contract with the club starting in attack, Xinhua reported.

Barcelona could have been down to 10 men after just 18 minutes when goalkeeper Jose Pinto touched the ball just outside of his penalty area to deny Valencia striker Roberto Soldado a scoring chance.

The result is not a bad one for Barcelona, who will qualify for the final if the score remains 0-0 in next Wednesday's return leg.

Tuesday saw Athletic Club Bilbao win 2-1 away to Mirandes in the first leg of their semi-final clash and the Basque side are now clear favourites to reach the final. (IANS)

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