REAL MADRID drew 1 - 1 with FC BARCELONA in a semi-final that could have easily had much more goals & could have easily have sentenced either of the teams. With this result the return 2 nd leg at Barcelona takes on a greater dimension as both go in equal & it will be the decider; one of these teams will be eliminated.
Real Madrid started on fire with Barcelona still cold & nearly got ahead via Cristiano Ronaldo that was stopped by Barça defender Pique which earned him a yellow card in the process. The first 10 minutes was all Madrid until Barça picked up momentum & took over with their ball control Football.
With the initiative with Barça the opportunities came & in the 20th min XAVI hit the post from a free-kick & Real Madrid defender Varane 3 minutes later avoided a Barça goal clearing from the goal line.
Things changed & Real Madrid regained control again & Benzema had chances along with Ozil. The first half ended with both side even.
The second half was just as intense & the first goal came from CESC FABREGAS in the 50th min from a Real Madrid defensive clearance mistake. As with most "clasicos" the goals come from specific details, be they outstanding individual class actions or in this case a mistake.
FC Barcelona was dominant by this stage & create many chances. Two of them, from Alves & Pedro, were dead certain goals that were missed & for this Barça would later pay dearly.
Then a Ozil pass into the goal square found a determined VARANE lift & score the equalizer in the 81st min with a brilliant header. The 19 year old Real Madrid defender had just given himself the certificate of one of the best players of the match & put a cherry on his personal cake. He along with Essien were outstanding, although Varane shines for his age & maturity under these tense match conditions. The youngster has "World class" stamped all other himself.
Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo had the limelight but were less active than normal. However they both had other team duties to perform tonight which were unseen & appreciated by their team-mates. Real Madrid started the match with their new goalie Diego Lopez & his performance was good with two vital saves that will lift his confidence in his new team.
In the end it was shared honours & perhaps rightly so as given the opportunities to one & the other they were overall balanced. Now its off to "Camp Nou" in Barcelona to decide things, a game that will be another spectacle of Spanish & World Football.