Cesc Fabregas scored what may be a priceless away goal at depleted arch rivals Real Madrid as holders Barcelona drew 1-1 in a tight King's Cup semi-final first leg last night.

Lionel Messi sent Fabregas clear five minutes after the break and he finished with ease past Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Barca missed several clear chances to extend their lead.

Then Real centre back Raphael Varane crowned a fine performance by leaping to head home an equaliser from a Mesut Ozil centre seven minutes from time.

The second leg is at the Nou Camp at the end of next month when Barca may regret not having scored more goals.