Downpour dominates Celta-Alaves semi-final stalemate


Madrid (AFP) – Celta Vigo and Alaves have it all to play for in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final after neither side could make the breakthrough in a first leg nearly washed out by awful weather conditions.

Celta, who knocked out Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, had the better of the chances on home soil but they were denied twice by the woodwork and some fine goalkeeping by Fernando Pacheco.

Former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas hit the bar before Pacheco turned Pablo Hernandez’s effort onto the post with two minutes to go as Alaves held out on a waterlogged Balaidos pitch.

The sides, neither of whom have ever won the competition, meet again on February 8 to decide who reaches the final.

In the other semi-final, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were on target as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their tie on Wednesday.

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