Barcelona recorded their second Champions League defeat at the San Siro thanks to Hakan Calhanoglu’s first-half strike. The loss puts the Xavi-led team in a dangerous position as they currently sit third in Group C with three points in three games.
Inter Milan Starting IX
Onana, Skriniar, Bastoni, De Vrij, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Lautaro, Correa, Dimarco, Darmian, Calhanoglu.
Barcelona Starting IX
Ter Stegen, Gavi, Sergio, Dembele, Pedri, Lewandowski, Christensen, Alonso, Roberto, Raphinha, Eric.
The defeat by Inter Milan leaves Barcelona at the third position in the Group with just three points from 3 matches so far.
The Catalans have managed only one win against bottom-place team Viktoria Pizen in the group, while suffering defeats to group leaders Bayern Munich and second-placed team Inter Milan.
During the clash at San Siro on Tuesday, Turkish attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu powered a low shot from outside the box to give the host the lead in the stoppage-time of the first half.
Earlier in the day, Bayern Munich, who beat Barcelona 2-0 last time out, had went ahead to thrash Viktoria Pizen 5-0 to maintain their hold on the top spot with maximum 9 points from three matches.
Barcelona faces Inter Milan at the Camp Nou for the return leg. The game will effectively determine who qualifies from the group.
The loss at San Siro has made Xavi the first Barcelona manager to record three straight Champions League defeats away from home.
Also, the Catalans have not found the back of the net in four of the last five Champions League matches, with the last three games ending in defeat.
The Xavi-led team were the better in possession at the San Siro. They dominated play, recording 70℅ of the ball possession.
Nevertheless, Barcelona failed to translate their superior and dominant performance in the game into goals. They could not find the back of the net.
Inter Milan looked more dangerous when winning possession and taking on counter attacks. They created more chances than the Catalans in the first half.
Before Calhanoglu finally netted the curtain-raiser, he had fired close shot in the seventh minutes from 30 yards but Stegen dived and saved by tipping the ball over the bar.
In the 45+2 minutes, Calhanoglu gave Stegen no chance this time around as he fired a low shot into the bottom corner to to give Inter Milan the lead.
prior to Calhanoglu’s goal, Inter Milan’s Angel Correas had scored a goal which was later ruled out as offside.
Barcelona still dominated play in the second half, but could not come close to finding an equaliser until the 60th minute.
A good buildup play by Barcelona saw Ousmane Dembele with the ball, who fired a thunderbolt that bounced back from the near post.
Barcelona came close again with another attempt as Dembele delivered an assist to Pedri who scored a goal but was ruled out by VAR denying the La Liga leaders a goal.
Barcelona continued to mount intense pressure in search of an equalizer and was awarded a penalty later denied by VAR.
The match ended with Inter Milan running away with all three points after the narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of Calhanoglu’s strike.