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Barcelona started without Lionel Messi in their Copa del Rey first leg against Real Madrid and had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou.

In a competition of such magnitude, which could realistically present Real Madrid with their only chance of winning a trophy this season, Keylor Navas' moment of madness could prove to be a vital point of difference at the end of the tie.

"I was not surprised as I know him since he arrived", Solari said at his postmatch news conference.

He has been recuperating from an injury, but it is clear that the soon to be 30 year old is not central to the Spanish giant's plans going forward any longer. "He deserves a lot of praise, as do his teammates who have taken him on board and helped him".

The next leg of the tie will be played on February 27 at the Bernabeu in Madrid.

Real had other ideas, however, and though Messi created a few openings for his team-mates, he was starved of opportunities himself, while the visitors even ended the second half on top and could have stole victory themselves had Gareth Bale's touch not let him down.

When asked whether he felt the draw was the right result, he measuredly declared: "It is very hard to speak about justice in football". Today's game was confirmation that this team are moving very seriously. "Both teams have lots of quality and many things can happen in a short time in these type of games".

"We always want to win games and we had chances to score a second. So we are happy with what we did today".

"Marcelo is our vice captain, and puts Madrid above everything", Solari said. "I will work ahrd to improve and play a little more".


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