MADRID, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona have plenty of work to do if they are to qualify for the semi-final of the Copa del Rey.
The runaway leaders of the BBVA Primera Liga rested key players for the first leg of their quarter-final and paid the price with a 2-2 draw with Malaga which meant they had to score at least a goal to advance in next week's return leg in the Rosaleda Stadium.
On the back of his side's 3-1 win in Malaga at the weekend, Barca rested Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Pedro Rodriguez, Dani Alves, Victor Valdes and Gerard Pique, with players such as Alex Song and Christian Tello coming into the side, while Malaga showed huge personality to put their weekend defeat into the past.
The prelude to the game saw Messi dedicate his fourth Balon D' Or to the fans in the Camp Nou Stadium, but Malaga had clearly learned from their 3-1 home defeat to Barca on Sunday and were looking solid in defense.
Indeed a surprise looked on the cards when Manuel Iturra took advantage to put the visitors ahead after bursting through and firing in a low finish after 25 minutes.
Malaga's lead lasted around three minutes before a run from Messi ended with him scoring with a curling shot past Malaga keeper Carlos Kameni.
A minute later and Barca were ahead following a fine header from Puyol on a corner kick and it could have been 3-1 after 34 minutes had Andres Iniesta allowed a rare lack of control see the ball run away from him.
Anyone expecting an easy second half for Barca was to be disappointed as Malaga pushed forward and closed down the spaces. Chances were few and far between, although Kameni blocked from Messi, while at the other end Jose Pinto had to make a good save from Seba Fernandez as Malaga looked for an equalizer.
Malaga were reduced to 10 men when Nacho Monreal was sent off for bringing down Barca sub Pedro Rodriguez as Pedro looked on track to goal with 15 minutes later, but Malaga held on magnificently as Barca looked for a goal to swing the tie decisively their way, but it was Malaga who found the goal when Ignacio Camacho scored the equalizing goal in the 90th minute with a sharp finish following a free kick.
The winner of this tie will face the side which qualifies from the clash between Real Madrid and Valencia.
Unai Emery's first game since taking over at Sevilla on Monday ended with a 0-0 draw away to Zaragoza. Emery's side showed more ambition in the game, especially in the first half, but were unable to get the ball past goalkeeper Leo Franco.
However as the second half progressed Sevilla seemed increasingly happy with the draw, while Zaragoza were unable to take control of the game and in the end a 0-0 draw appeared to please both sides.
Sevilla know a home win will see them into the semi-finals, but an away goal for Zaragoza in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium next season would mean their rivals would need two goals to qualify.
The first leg ties of the quarter-final kicked off on Tuesday with Real Madrid taking a controversial 2-0 win at home to Valencia thanks to a goal from Karim Benzema and an own goal. Valencia complained bitterly at the performance of referee Muniz Fernandez, who gave three erroneous offsides against the visitors while failing to see a handball in Madrid's second goal.