Mascherano won't write off Valencia


Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has refused to rule Valencia out of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

The Blaugrana drew 1-1 with Unai Emery's side in the first leg at the Mestalla Stadium, and are heavy favourites to progress to the final of the competition ahead of Wednesday night's meeting at the Nou Camp.

However, the Argentine international insists the players will not be taking Los Che lightly ahead of their trip to Catalonia, and is well aware that a professional job still needs to be done in the second leg.

"The semi-final is still wide open," Mascherano told the official Barcelona website.

"And with the teams level on aggregate, people are a lot more cautious than they were before the second leg against Real Madrid, when everybody was sure we had already qualified.

"We knew that Madrid would fight, would throw everything at us, and the same will happen with Valencia, who want to reach the final as much as we do. We are going to have to maintain the same attitude."

Pep Guardiola's side remain seven points off the pace in La Liga, but are on the cusp of a domestic final after beating Los Blancos in the last round.

The winner of the semi-final will face either Athletic Bilbao or giant-killer Mirandes in the final, with Fernando Llorente giving his side the advantage after scoring twice in the first leg.

However, third-tier Mirandes have already knocked Villarreal, Racing Santander and Espanyol out of the competition, and grabbed a late lifeline a week ago with an 89th minute goal in the 2-1 defeat.

They meet tonight at San Mam├ęs to decide who progresses into the final.

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