Barcelona qualify for last 16 of Champions League

- Advertisement -

Barcelona have qualified for the Champions League last 16 following a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan.

Barca looked set for the victory that would have confirmed them as Group B winners when substitute Malcom put them ahead with a strike in the 83rd minute, two minutes after coming off the bench.

Mauro Icardi then equalised in the 87th and the visitors’ 100 per cent start in the pool to an end.

While Barcelona are through with 10 points from four games, second-placed Inter have seven points and Tottenham, up to third after beating PSV 2-1, have four.

Lionel Messi was once again not involved, having missed Barca’s previous four matches. Messi, who has been recovering from a fractured arm and returned to training last week, had travelled with his team-mates to Italy but was not included in the matchday 18.

As he watched on from the sidelines at the San Siro, Inter’s Matias Vecino had the first attempt on goal with a shot easily dealt with by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The away side tried their luck soon after, Ousmane Dembele seizing on a loose Stefan de Vrij pass and bringing a save out of Samir Handanovic.

Handanovic then saw his kick go straight to Ivan Rakitic and the Croatian sent the ball to Suarez, who shot over from the edge of the box.

Inter had a decent chance in the 19th minute when Kwadwo Asamoah exchanged passes with Ivan Perisic but fired off target.

The hosts were subsequently under pressure once again as Suarez flicked one effort just wide of the top corner with his right foot and then, after Rakitic had struck wide, sent another across the face of goal.

As the interval drew near, Handanovic dived to save a low Philippe Coutinho strike from outside the area before getting behind another Suarez attempt.

Early in the second half, Handanovic parried a Coutinho drive and Vecino miscued an attempt with an overhead kick.

Handanovic then parried a shot from Rakitic and was beaten by one from Suarez seconds later, but the effort was disallowed, with the ball having gone out of play in between.

Coutinho had a deflected shot turned behind just after the hour mark and Matteo Politano was unable to make the most of a great opportunity for Inter soon after, heading wide.

The deadlock was then broken as Malcom registered his first Barcelona goal. The Brazilian collected a pass from his compatriot Coutinho, advanced into the box and slotted a left-footed effort past Handanovic.

The swift reply came when the ball went via Sergio Busquets’ touch to Vecino, his shot came off Gerard Pique and Icardi sent a shot through legs of Ter Stegen and in for his ninth goal of the season.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.