Messi and Suarez were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last 16 Copa Del Rey

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NPL Sports, 5th January : A second-string Barcelona shorn of attacking stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last 16 Copa Del Rey tie with Celta Vigo on Thursday.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde also left out captain Andres Iniesta and others including goalkeeper Ter Stegen, centre-back Samuel Umtiti and midfielder Ivan Rakitic from the starting line-up.

Despite those absences they took the lead after 15 minutes through a neat Jose Arnaiz finish, but after a bright start they ceded control to the hosts.

Celta hit back 16 minutes later through Pione Sisto, who reacted quickest after Iago Aspas hit the bar from close range and rifled a shot past Barca keeper Jasper Cillessen from a tight angle to give his side a chance in the return leg at the Camp Nou next Thursday.

Real Madrid take on second division team Numancia in their last 16 tie later.

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