Hello and welcome to the highlights from Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the UEFA Champions League match between Inter Milan and FC Barcelona at the San Siro in Milan.
Xavi had warned that his team cannot falter against Inter Milan. It did just that as it lacked creativity and squandered the few chances it had to concede the three points to the Italian side. Inter Milan might have problems in Serie A but tonight it played like a well-gelled unit. It avoided any risks, was solid in defence and lethal in its counter attacks. The three points take Inter second in Group C with six points. For Barcelona, the all-too-familiar threat of Europa League football looms large all of a sudden. The two sides will face off again in game week four but the advantage is with Inter Milan ahead of that match. One might argue that Barcelona was perhaps unlucky but it would still regret not converting the few chances it had. That settles the action from the Champions League for the night. See you all on Wednesday for more matches. Ciao!
Barcelona continues its let attempts. Balde with a drilled cross from the left flank. Dembele fights for the ball but Onana jumps tall, collects the ball and dives onto the ground. Should be the last peak Barcelona get of a meaningful sequence of play.
Dembele with a curling cross from the left side. Lewandowski is in the middle but the ball misses the striker and the far post by the barest of margins.
VAR is checking a potential handball by Dumfries while defending a Barcelona attack. It seems to strike the Dutch defender’s hand but the VAR check is complete and Barcelona players are left ruing. Still seven minutes of stoppage time remaining.
Chance for Busquets! That has to be the last chance Barcelona misses. Dembele puts in an accurate ball from the set-piece at the near post. Sergio Busquets is clear and no man marked him, yet his header has no control and goes flying wide of the goal. Poor from the skipper.
A free-kick in a dangerous spot conceded by Inter. Dembele and Kessie combine, and the latter turns and skips past Bastoni who pulls his rival’s shirt and puts him down.
The substitute Asllani is straight into the action as he intercepts a cross from Ansu Fati and clears it for a corner.
A vital clearance by Pique! Barella is charging on the right flank on a counter attack. He crosses the ball and is set to find Dzeko who is standing on the edge of the six-yard box. Pique steps in at the right moment and clears the ball to safety.
Barcelona continues knocking on the door. First, Dembele dishes out a cross aimed at Lewandowski. The ball is headed straight for the striker’s head but Onana steps in clears. Then, Lewandowski drops his shoulder and skips past an Inter defender but is unable to provide the killer blow. A corner for Barcelona still.
It is a nice little battle between Balde and Darmian on one side of the ground. The Barca fullback has his dancing shoes on and attempts to cross the ball into the box. Darmian is able to prevent any danger and give a corner. The Italian seems to be struggling with cramps though.
Balde with some neat foot work on the flank. He skips past a defender and plays the ball Fati who tries to do the same but is stopped in his tracks. Fati wins a corner though. Yet again, nothing comes of it.
It is not Barcelona’s night. Pedri’s goal is denied by VAR. He had scored the ball home from a Dembele cross. Onana had the chance to collect the ball but made a hash of the crsss and Pedri pounced on the mistake. Replay showed that the ball hit Ansu Fati’s hand. The referee is called to the VAR screen and he cancels the goal. Xavi has something to say to the referee and is shown a yellow card for it.
SAVED by Onana! A first clear chance for Barcelona. Raphinha has the ball on the right and he dribbles it away from Dimarco and Bastoni. He plays the ball to Gavi in the centre. Gavi then finds Dembele on the left who has ample space to sort his feet and take a shot. The Inter Milan keeper puts out a strong right hand to prevent the ball from going into the net.
Busquets goes into the book as he clips the heels of Lautaro Martinez as Inter Milan sketches a move from its own half. The Barcelona captain has a word with the referee but that was a clear yellow card.
A worrying sight for Barcelona fans! Christensen is down on the ground and getting treatment on his left leg. The team already has Araujo and Kounde sidelined due to injury.
The move starts on the right flank with Roberto and Dembele combining. The switch is made to the left flank via Gavi. Raphinha tries to work a through pass to Alonso but the two are not on the same page and the Spaniard is unable to reach the ball in time and it goes out for a goal kick. A faint appeal for a free-kick by the left-back but the decision remains the same.
Barcelona continues its pursuit to find a goal but to no avail. Meanwhile, Inzaghi has asked striker Dzeko to start warming up.
Barcelona shows some intent in the opening exchanges of the second half. It tries a couple of crosses into the box but Inter is dogged in defence and allows no room.
Barcelona tries to make a move but the referee brings the half to an end. Inter Milan has stuck to its strategy of playing on the counter and it has worked. The visitor has had the better of the possession but Inter’s tight back line has denied any space to score. Finally, at the end of the half, Inter was able to move into a lead with Calhanoglu’s strike from outside the box.
Inter Milan 1-0 Barcelona! Calhanoglu strikes for the home side on the cusp of half-time.
Darmian wins the ball from Lewandowski and thumps the ball forward for Martinez who is starting out on a run from the centre line. Christensen, however, comes across and sends the ball out of play for a throw in.
Barcelona keeps moving forward despite a foul on Pedri. Gavi in the centre circle when he gets the ball and he turns away from Bastoni. The Inter defender fouls him and the ball is called back for a free-kick.
A shot by Dembele! End to end stuff. Barcelona breaks into a counter after thwarting a counter attack by Inter Milan. Pedri brilliantly crafts the ball through the midfield as he dummies past two Inter players. He passes to Dembele on right. The winger almost foxes Calhanoglu and shoots but the attempt goes out of play and into the side netting.
Barcelona tries another patient attack but Inter continues to deny any space. Pedri has the ball in the centre but he sees no space in front of him and opens it wide to Dembele on the right. Dembele takes a couple of strides forward and crosses. Darmian stands tall and clears it out of danger.
Barella threatens to break out into a counter attack. Christensen takes the ball from him but the referee awards a free-kick for Raphinha’s tackle on the midfielder from behind.
OFFSIDE! Inter Milan finds the back of the net as Correa finishes a one-on-one against ter Stegen but the assistant stops the celebrations midway by raising his flag.
It’s all happening at the San Siro. Inter Milan tries a dink over the top but Christensen heads clear. The ball lands with Correa but Eric Garcia intercepts that threat. Inter players claim that was a handball by Garcia but the play continues. As Inter is busy complaining, Dembele takes the chance to skip past two players and move closer to goal. He passes to Raphinha but the attack fizzles out. A VAR check follows the sequence. The referee is asked to check the play on the on-field screen and he declares that Inter’s move started with a player in offside position. The ball did strike Garcia on the arm but the play had started with an offside run by Martinez so Barcelona is saved.
A crucial interception by Christensen. Dimarco plays a low cross from the left side and Barella is breaking out into a run aimed at the back post. Christensen manages to stretch and place the ball behind for a corner. Had that beaten the defender, it would have been a clear chance for Inter Milan.
Inter tries to play out from the back as Onana passes to de Vrij in front of him. Gavi somehow manages to steal the ball from the defender’s feet and Barcelona wins the possession. Gavi then tries to pass a threaded delivery to Lewandowski but the ball goes into the keeper’s hands.
Dembele has been a threat for Inter Milan. The winger has time and again tried to cut inside from his wide position. The Frenchman has however been unable to find the way through into the box.
Another corner for Barcelona. Pedri wins the ball in midfield and releases quickly to Alonso on the left. The left-back’s cross is blocked Skriniar to give the visitors a corner. The delivery from the set piece finds Christensen but the header lacks power and Onana comfortably collects the ball.
Chance for Barcelona. Raphina takes the corner from the left hand side. The ball is curling away and Alonso gets his head to it. But the left back is going down as he connects with the ball and fails to connect cleanly. The shot goes wide of goal.
Marcos Alonso and Barella in a battle on the left flank which the midfielder wins and sends the ball out for a throw in. A moment later, Barcelona gets a peep into the Inter box when Alonso breaks out into a run but his cross is too long for any Barcelona attacker to connect with.
SAVE by ter Stegen! Inter Milan breaks out on a counter attack but Eric Garcia intercepts the ball out of Martinez’s feet. The ball rolls towards Calhanoglu who takes a whipping shot from nearly 30 yards out. ter Stegen stands still and parries the ball out for a corner.
Lautaro Martinez and Correa run around chasing the ball and trying to implement a press. They almost succeed in winning back the ball until Pedri intercepts the ball in the midfield to get the control back for Barcelona.
CORNER for Barcelona. As we’re accustomed, Barcelona knocks the ball around the field in the opening minute. An attack from the right flank wins a corner for the side but it fails to convert it into a goal.
And we’re underway at San Siro. Barcelona starts proceedings from the centre circle.
The teams gather around the centre circle to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the tragic events that unfolded in Indonesia this past weekend.
The Champions League anthem reverberates across the San Siro as the players lineup in front of the home stand. The team hand shakes follow. Moments away now.
Out walk the players on the storied San Siro pitch. Barcelona will be sporting its away kit for the match. The referee leads the teams out on to the middle.
Grab your popcorn and find your seats in front of the screen. The match will be underway in less than 10 minutes now.
Barcelona’s custodian Marc Andre ter Stegen has been in good form lately. In seven matches in La Liga, ter Stegen has kept six clean sheets and conceded just one goal. In the Champions League, he’s conceded three goals in two matches. The German goalkeeper will be crucial for Barcelona today with their main defender Ronald Araujo out for two months.
The German club continued moving strength to strength with a 5-0 victory over Czech side Viktoria Plzen. Bayern is now clear at the top of Group C and has won three out of three.
There’s more action from the UEFA Champions League as Liverpool faces Rangers in Group A. Catch Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the match here.
The last time Inter Milan and Barcelona played each other in 2019/20, the Blaugrana won the match 2-1. On the night, Ansu Fati scored the winner and became the youngest player to score in the Champions League.
Played - 10, Barcelona - 6, Inter Milan - 1, Draw - 3
The Nerrazurri has got off to a scrappy start to the season. It has lost four of its eight matches in Serie A, including losses to city rival AC Milan, Lazio and AS Roma. As a result, it sits ninth in the table with just 12 points from eight games. In Champions League too, the side suffered defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Robert Lewandowski has been the go-to player for Barcelona this season. The Poland striker has fired 9 goals in 7 appearances in La Liga. This has seen his side remain unbeaten in the league and sit on the top spot. In Champions League too, Lewandowski is the joint-highest goals this season with three stirkes.
Inter Milan (3-5-2)- Onana - Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni - Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco - Correa, Martinez
Barcelona (4-4-2)- ter Stegen - Roberto, Christensen, Eric Garcia, Alonso - Gavi, Busquets, Pedri - Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembele
The teams have released their starting lineups. Inter Milan fans will be relieved to see Lautaro Martinez start after an injury scare. For Barcelona, Lewandowski partners Dembele and Paphinha up front.
In the other Group C match, Bayern leads Viktoria Plzen 3-0 at half-time. Sadio Mane, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane have scored for the Bavarian giant. Viktoria Plzen looks on track to lose its third straight match in this year’s Champions League.
As Barcelona manager Xavi said on Monday, the game is a must-win match for both teams. Inter and Barcelona have lost to Bayern Munich and beaten Viktoria Plzen. They have three points from the first two games. A win today will send the team to second place and three points ahead of the losing team. Although, the teams play again in the group phase, a lead of three points will certainly give a psychological boost.
Both Inter Milan and Barcelona sit three points behind group leaders Bayern Munich after both were beaten 2-0 by the German champions in the opening two rounds of the competition.
Inter has lost five of its 10 fixtures in Serie A and Europe and the pressure is on both Inzaghi and the team to not fall further behind.
However, it have a daunting task ahead of them as Barcelona has kept a clean sheet in each of its last five league matches. The Spanish side also moved to the top of La Liga this past weekend after Real Madrid settled for 1-1 draw against Osasuna.
“Barcelona are very good, they play some of the best football in Europe. We know how important this match is,” said Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi.
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH
Inter Milan vs Barcelona will kick-off at 8:00 PM BST/ 12.30 AM IST on Wednesday.
Inter Milan vs Barcelona UEFA Champions League match will be telecast live across the Sony Sports Network in India. The match will also be live streamed on Sony LIV.