Barcelona fightback falls short against Inter as Europa League looms again

Barcelona 3-3 Inter

Barcelona are facing elimination from the Champions League after failing to beat Inter for the second time in a week, this time at Camp Nou.

The match started with plenty of intensity and intention from Xavi Hernandez’s side, but little penetration. Inter warned the Blaugrana that they were a threat when Edin Dzeko struck the bar and Denzel Dumfries forced a save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Towards the end of the first period, Barcelona began stretching Inter a little more and less than five minutes before the break, Raphinha chased down a ball into the corner and kept it in. His pass in behind the defence set Sergi Roberto loose and he found Ousmane Dembele crashing into the six-yard box for the opener.

There was a heady atmosphere at Camp Nou as the second half began, only for Gerard Pique to set into action a chain of events that would condemn Barcelona financially just as much as his large contract. A cross from the left was left by Pique too, unaware that Niccolo Barella was ghosting in behind him. His touch and finish into the roof of the net got Inter level and changed the face of the game.

The ensuing 15 minutes were a disaster for Barcelona as first Gavi and then ter Stegen prevented Dzeko and Milan Skriniar from giving Inter the lead. Chaotic and open in midfield, Barcelona lost control entirely and were punished in the 63rd minute. Lautaro Martinez chested the ball inside Eric Garcia and his finish struck the inside of both posts for the lead.

The air exited Camp Nou at that point. Xavi sent on all five of his changes as they tried to process what had happened and once again Barcelona had Inter defending their own box with 15 minutes to go.

Faint hope was given as Robert Lewandowski reacted fastest in the box in the 81st minute to bring the scores level again. As the match ticked into its final minute, Barcelona still had not learnt their lesson. A long Andre Onana kick found Martinez, who in turn laid on a precise ball for Robin Gosens to nail Barcelona’s coffin shut.

Just three minutes later a superb Lewandowski header allowed them to peak out but they had given themselves a miracle too many to achieve and only a superb ter Stegen save salvaged a draw.

Barcelona must now hope that Inter do not win any of their remaining two matches otherwise they will once again find themselves in the Europa League in 2023. A brutal blow to the club financially and manager Xavi Hernandez will now be scrutinised without mercy for a team that still struggles to put 90 minutes together in Europe.

Tags Barcelona Champions League Inter
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