Coaches satisfied after 1-1 'Cup Clasico' draw

Madrid, Jan 31 (IANS) FC Barcelona assistant coach Jodi Roura accepted his side's 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

Cesc Fabregas put Barcelona ahead five minutes into the second half and although Madrid had chances, Barca were looking comfortable and saw Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez waste chances which would have sealed the tie before Rafael Varene levelled the game for Madrid with nine minutes remaining, reports Xinhua.

The away goal gives Barca an advantage for the return leg Feb 27 but if he was feeling disappointed at seeing his side fail to win Roura, who was standing in for Tito Vilanova who is undergoing treatment for cancer, was not showing it.

"A draw in the Bernabeu is a good result and it is a very good result to take back home," he said, adding that the match had gone more or less as he had expected.

"I said before the game that the tie would have to be resolved in Barcelona and that's the way it is. Maybe we lost the ball more than normal in the first half but in the second half we had the game as controlled as you can do against Real Madrid."

Meanwhile, goal-scorer Fabregas thought his side improved as the game progressed.

"It was an intense game. Maybe we were a bit off the ball in the opening minutes and it was hard to get the ball but then we were much more involved," said the midfielder.

Fabregas refused to be drawn on whether a 1-1 draw in the always difficult Santiago Bernabeu stadium was a good result.

"We'll see if it's a good result but its always hard in the Bernabeu and we have the return leg in front of our fans, although there is a month to go. We are playing well and having a spectacular season but anything can happen in this sort of game," added Fabregas.

Meanwhile, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho again failed to appear in front of the press leaving his assistant Aitor Karanka to do the talking.

Karanka said Real Madrid had worked hard and they were very pleased with their performance. He also highlighted the performance of goalkeeper Diego Lopez who was making his first appearance since returning to the club from Sevilla last Saturday.

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