Inter 1-0 Barcelona
Barcelona risked a considerable amount of capital and assets to get back into the big time, but their result in Milan leaves them in something of a corner if they are to get significant income back from their European adventures.
The early stages set the tone for the match, as Barcelona dominated the ball and moved it side to side. There were two types of breaks to that rhythm; an Ousmane Dembele cross or an Inter counter-attack. Neither were particularly effective, although the latter did seem more dangerous.
Eric Garcia was saved from a penalty appeal by a narrow offside, before Joaquin Correa, significantly offside, had the ball in the net. Just before half time, the crucial moment of the match came as Barcelona failed to clear a cross. Laid off on the edge of the box, Hakan Calhanoglu drove home an excellent strike into the bottom corner.
Barcelona started the second period in much the same fashion. Dembele increasingly began to find his range, but rarely any takers for his crosses. Andre Onana failed to clear one such cross, leaving Pedri to tap into an empty net. Only on the replay was it seen that the ball brushed Ansu Fati’s hand on the way to him.
That set the tone for the big talking point of the match. In stoppage time, there was a large penalty appeal as another cross was knocked away from Ansu by the hand of Denzel Dumfries. While VAR looked at it, they deemed it not sufficient for a penalty.
Ultimately, this was a poor performance from Barcelona though. Xavi Hernandez’s side sit third on three points and only a win against Inter next week will save them from almost certain Champions League elimination. The stakes have most definitely been raised.