Inter Milan defeated Group C opponents Barcelona 1-0 at the San Siro to earn a crucial Champions League victory. Hakan Calhanoglu’s superb goal gave the hosts the victory.
In a hectic first half in Milan, both teams had opportunities. Joaquin Correa had a penalty ruling reversed by video assistant referee (VAR), and Calhanoglu then stepped up to put the home team ahead shortly before halftime.
Following the restart, Barcelona made an effort to respond, with Pedri’s equaliser being ruled off by VAR and Ousmane Dembele constantly posing a threat on the break.
The group’s most significant advantage belongs to Inter, who will use it to their advantage as they compete with Barcelona for second place in the standings, behind Bayern Munich.
Inter fight hard for Inzaghi.
With only eight points all season in Serie A and three in the Champions League, Inzaghi entered the game under significant pressure.
His long-term viability at the San Siro has been called into question by Italian reports, but his players fought valiantly for their coach.
Second place in Group C is likely to be decided by Inter’s performance against Camp Nou next week, and they will go to Catalonia with a significant advantage.
Calhanoglu’s outstanding goal will likely garner the most attention on the evening, but Andre Onana’s pivotal saves and Milan Skriniar’s defensive organisation kept Barcelona at bay, giving the former Italian international some breathing room.
Before this match, Robert Lewandowski has been outstanding in his first few months at Barcelona, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.
Last Saturday, his superb goal gave Mallorca a 1-0 victory, but he found it difficult to settle into the game against an experienced Inter defence.
Skriniar did an excellent job of containing him during their one-on-one encounters, with Dembele serving as the visitors’ primary outlet.
In the dying minutes, Xavi stayed with him but was unable to finish off a late opportunity from Dembele’s set piece on a rare blank for the Polish international.
FULL TIME: BARCELONA 0 Inter Milan 1
The crucial Champions League victory for the home team at the San Siro puts an end to it all in Milan.
Just before halftime, Calhanoglu’s miraculous goal separated the two teams, and a disgruntled Barcelona saw Pedri’s equaliser overturned by VAR.
90+6 seconds: Dembele’s whipped pass just evades Lewandowski’s rush.
VAR CHECK FOR BARCELONA PENALTY AT 90+3 MINS!
Sergi Roberto brings down Pedri’s cross, and Barcelona demands a penalty against Dumfries. VAR REJECTS THE DEMAND!
90 Minutes: Bastoni receives a yellow card for kicking Kessie, and Lewandowski misses Dembele’s free kick.
88 minutes: Inter is trying to finish the game as quickly as possible as Calhanoglu exits to a standing ovation and is replaced by Kristjan Asllani.
85 Minutes: As Franck Kessie enters the game for Gavi, Inzaghi is now booked for some sly time-wasting.
Can Barcelona score a late equaliser? 80 minutes.
75 Minutes: Martinez receives a booking for shoving Gavi, fracturing the game ahead of the last 15 minutes.
Denzel Dumfries and Francesco Acerbi replace Federico Dimarco and de Vrij, respectively, while Robin Gosens replaces Matteo Darmian in Inzaghi’s lineup.
68 minutes: RULED OUT
The goal is disallowed after VAR determines that Fati committed a handball during the buildup!
Both Calhanoglu for a foul and Xavi for his enraged reaction receive a yellow card.
PEDRI FOR BARCA IN 66 MINUTES!
As Onana misses Dembele’s cross, Pedri scores to tie the score for Barcelona, but there will be another VAR review!
Off the post after 62 minutes!
AN ENORMOUS CHANCE FOR BARCA!
Dembele bursts past the Inter defence, but Onana just touches him to tip his shot onto the post.
Ansu Fati and Alex Balde are Xavi’s two substitutions, replacing Alonso and Raphinha.
As he ruthlessly knocks down Lautaro Martinez, Busquets receives Barcelona’s first caution of the game at the end of the first 60 minutes.
First substitutions are made at 58 minutes when Edin Dzeko replaces Correa and Christensen, whose frustrating injury takes him out, is replaced by Gerard Pique.
Barella needs to use caution as he receives a final warning for a foul on Pedri at the 50-minute mark.
We are back after 46 minutes!
At the break, neither side made any adjustments.
HT: BARCELONA 0 INTER MILAN 1
TAKE THE LEADER ON THE STROKE OF HALF TIME FROM NO WHERE ELSE INTER!
Prior to the start of the second half, Inter had resumed their defensive posture, but Calhanoglu has delivered a brilliant play for the home team!!!
Ter Stegen stopped his long ranger earlier in the game, but this time from a somewhat closer distance, he shoots one past the German goalkeeper, and the San Siro EXPLODES!