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Despite conceding an early goal and struggling their way through the first half, Barça managed to regroup after the interval and see off an Inter Milan side that had proved very difficult to break down. Two goals from Luis Suárez secured three golden points and put Barça in a strong position in a very tough Champions League group.
All eyes were on Leo Messi, back in the starting XI after recovering from injury, but it was another Argentinian, Lautaro Martínez, who was quickest to make his mark.
He pounced on a stray pass in midfield, darted goalward and slotted the ball under Ter Stegen to put the Italians in command after just two minutes.
Against the ropes
By half-time, Barça led the shot count 9-6, but the stats hide the truth. The home side were very much against the ropes, and it was the Italians who were creating all the danger.
They are side that’s won six out of six in Serie A this season, and they were showing the Camp Nou why. Lautaro was the biggest headache, and Barça could only thank their stars (and a phenomenal Ter Stegen) that he hadn’t added to the Inter tally.
Barça were bossing the possession game too, but getting the ball to places where the frontmen could truly pierce Antonio Conte’s rigid defence was proving very difficult indeed.
Barça needed to find some magic somewhere. And they found it on the end of Luis Suárez’s right foot.
Arturo Vidal sent a floating pass to the Uruguayan lurking in the penalty arc, and… Pow! No control from Suárez, he went straight for the volley and it was an absolute humdinger. Uno-uno.
Suddenly we were watching a different game. Barça were oozing all the confidence that Inter had had before, and with the inertia in their favour the chances started flowing.
Inter weathered that storm and gradually managed to take the bite out of the game. Or so they thought. It was time for the GOAT to make his mark.
In a flash, Messi was dancing his way through the Inter pack and then picked out Suárez with the perfect pass – and El Pistolero rounded Diego Godín to finish off the job.
Slavia Prague 0 Borussia Dortmund 2 (Achraf 2)
Borussia top Group F on goal difference ahead of Barça, but the points were by no means easy to come by in the Czech capital, where Slavia, who drew at Inter in their first game, made them work very hard indeed for the win.
Two goals from Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, the best player on the pitch, were all that tipped the balance in a game where there was very little indeed to pick between the two sides.
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