Inter 1 -1 Barcelona: Blaugrana through despite Icardi leveller

Mauro Icardi rescued Inter a point at home to Barcelona, who progressed to the Champions League knockout stages despite the late setback.   Barcelona secured their place in the Champions League last 16 despite late drama in a 1-1 draw against Inter at a rain-soaked San Siro.

The Blaugrana looked set to register a fourth victory from four Group B matches when Malcom netted his first goal for the club seven minutes from time.

However, Mauro Icardi - otherwise anonymous as Inter struggled to trouble Barca - pounced to strike following a goalmouth scramble three minutes later, his goal crucial as Tottenham defeated PSV elsewhere.

Barca were still able to celebrate a place in the next round thanks to their superior head-to-head record against Inter, but this was a frustrating evening as they missed Lionel Messi's ruthless nature in the final third.

Ousmane Dembele drew an early stop from Samir Handanovic and Luis Suarez then curled one effort just over the top and sent a delicate lob wide, with Barcelona in control of proceedings from the off.

A sloppy start from Inter included a poor close-range Kwadwo Asamoah miss, but the majority of the chances continued to fall at the other end and Handanovic was again alert as the dangerous Suarez fizzed in a low strike shortly before half-time.

Handanovic turned away a Philippe Coutinho drive following the restart, before the goalkeeper blocked Ivan Rakitic's tame finish, with Suarez furious that his goal seconds later was in vain as the ball was ruled to have gone behind for a corner.

The breakthrough finally came just after Malcom's introduction in place of Dembele, charging through on the right to meet Coutinho's pass and shoot beyond Handanovic.

But Barca were denied the three points as Icardi finally saw a ball drop at his feet in the area, swivelling to bury the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the delirium of the home fans.

Barca through but defensive worries persist

Barcelona wasted chance after chance. Icardi and Inter did not. The visitors looked Champions League contenders throughout the contest, yet they should have been able to see the game out. The Nerazzurri scarcely came forward but still managed to find a route back into the game, with confusion at the back for Barca. That should worry Ernesto Valverde going forward.




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