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Thu 28 Feb 2008 06:59 AM

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Xavi's late show saves Barcelona

An injury-time goal by Xavi gave Barcelona a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia in the Spanish Cup semi-final clash.

A goal well into injury-time by Xavi gave Barcelona a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia in their Spanish Cup semi-final first leg clash here on Wednesday.

Valencia - whose season rests solely on winning the Cup after a disastrous Champions League and championship campaign - had taken the lead through Spanish international striker David Villa 20 minutes from time.

Barcelona too be fair had the majority of the chances - their opponents under-fire coach Ronald Koeman electing to play only Villa up front - but found Valencia's German goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand in commanding form.

He was forced into his first save in the sixth minute from Xavi in the same move that had seen efforts by Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi blocked by Valencia defenders.

Barca's French duo Thierry Henry and Eric Abidal also failed to break the deadlock with their long range efforts in the first-half which Hildebrand fielded easily.

Messi, though, was the biggest offender for Barca missing twice within eight minutes in the second-half, although his worst miss was nine minutes from the end when he was one on one with Hildebrand.

Thursday's second semi-final pitches Getafe at home to Racing Santander.

The second legs are on March 19 and 20.

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