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Malcom comes to Barca's rescue in El Clasico

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Stand in: Brazilian Malcom scored for Barcelona as he replaced the injured Lionel Messi

Stand in: Brazilian Malcom scored for Barcelona as he replaced the injured Lionel Messi

AFP/Getty Images

Stand in: Brazilian Malcom scored for Barcelona as he replaced the injured Lionel Messi

Malcom's second-half strike rescued a 1-1 draw for Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.

In the first of three games between the two Spanish giants over the next 24 days, it was the visitors who stole the early advantage when Lucas Vazquez netted the opener after just six minutes.

But Malcom, who started in place of Lionel Messi, equalised shortly before the hour mark to keep Barcelona in the tie as they bid to win the competition for a fifth consecutive year.

Messi, carrying a minor leg injury, was named on the Barcelona bench by manager Ernesto Valverde.

Real are making their first appearance at this stage of the Copa del Rey since they beat Barcelona in the final nearly five years ago.

And it was Santiago Solari's side who secured the perfect start after they took the lead inside just six minutes.

Karim Benzema calmly chested down a cross from Vinicius Junior before pulling the ball back for Vazquez who made no mistake from close range.

The hosts went into the interval with a one-goal disadvantage, but 12 minutes after the break were back on level terms.

Real 'keeper Keylor Navas rushed out to deny Jordi Alba before the ball fell to Luis Suarez who, from an impossible angle, strike hit the post. With Navas still scrambling back towards his own goal, the rebound fell to Malcom who fired the ball home.

Belfast Telegraph