Barcelona, Real Madrid tie 1-1 in Copa semifinal

Updated: January 30, 2013, 9:06 PM ET
Associated Press

MADRID -- Raphael Varane scored in the 81st minute, giving Real Madrid a 1-1 tie against Barcelona on Wednesday night in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.

With Barcelona enjoying the majority of the possession, Cesc Fabregas put the defending champions ahead in the 50th minute off a pass from Lionel Messi, who intercepted a clearance. Messi's streak of scoring in 16 straight starts ended.

Varane's goal was his first since Dec. 20, 2011.

"It's like a dream come true, incredible to score a goal like that against Barcelona at just 19," Varane said.

With goalkeeper Iker Casillas sidelined by a broken hand, Diego Lopez was in goal for Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo served as captain.

The second leg of the total-goals series will be in Barcelona on Feb. 27. Atletico Madrid hosts Sevilla on Thursday in the first leg of the other semifinal.

"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.

The 19-year-old Raphael Varane sealed an excellent match, heading an equalizer in the 81st having saved three clear Barcelona chances earlier.


LONDON -- Wayne Rooney scored twice to lead Manchester United over Southampton 2-1 and open a seven-point lead over second-place Manchester City in the English Premier League.

After Jay Rodriguez put the visitors ahead, Rooney scored in the eighth and 27th minutes to give him nine goals in his last nine games. United has won nine Premier Leagues matches in which it has trailed this season.

United (19-3-2) has 59 points, while City (15-2-7) has 52.

Third-place Chelsea (13-4-7) dropped 13 points off the lead when it wasted a late two-goal lead at Reading in a 2-2 tie. After goals by Juan Mata in first-half injury time and Frank Lampard in the 66th, the European champions conceded goals to Adam Le Fondre in the 87th minute and in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Fourth-place Tottenham (12-6-6) remained four points back of Chelsea with a 1-1 tie at Norwich. Wesley Hoolahan's 32nd-minute goal was offset when Gareth Bale scored on a solo run in the 80th.

Arsenal rallied for a 2-2 tie at home against Liverpool, which opened a two-goal lead when Luis Suarez scored in the fifth minute and Jordan Henderson in the 60th. The Gunners came back on goals by Olivier Giroud in the 64th and Theo Walcott in the 67th.

Everton (9-3-12) moved into fifth place, one point behind Spurs and three ahead of Arsenal, with a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion on goals by Leighton Baines in the 29th and first-half injury time, the latter a penalty kick. Shane Long scored in the 65th for the visitors.

Dimitar Berbatov scored on his 32nd birthday to lead Fulham over West Ham 3-1. Hugo Rodallega and Joey O'Brien added goals for the Cottagers.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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