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A dramatic finale in northern Italy saw Malcom come on as an 81st minute substitute and score with practically his first touch of the ball.
It looked like that was enough to send the Catalans through to the knockout stages with two games to spare, but Mauro Icardi conjured up a response from the home side and a fascinating duel at the Giuseppe Meazza ended a goal apiece.
There was confusion in media rooms around the planet as journos tried to work out the implications of that along with the news coming through that Spurs had defeated PSV 2-1 at Wembley … followed by delight among Barça supporters worldwide as it transpired that we were already mathematically qualified!
On the front foot
It had been a gripping night in Lombardy, and the first half rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the players. It may have ended without score, but that was not for want of decent football from either side.
It was an encounter that was more about quality than drama. Inter were good, but Barça looked better. Most of the play was in the direction of the back and blue defenders and there were chances aplenty, with Luis Suárez almost always somewhere in the mix.
But typically solid Inter defending, one particularly fine save from Samir Handanovic and the odd moment of good old fashioned wastefulness meant that we were still where we had started when the half time whistle blew.
The rain cleared up for the restart, which brought more of the same. Rarely a minute went by without something happening in one of the penalty areas, and usually Inter’s. But although the action was relentless, real standout highlights were strangely lacking.
On 81 minutes, Malcom came on for Ousmane Dembélé. And with the Brazilian’s first intervention, he was on the receiving end of the umpteenth piece of magic of the evening from Philippe Coutinho and finding room to slip the ball home.
That goal looked like it had done the trick. But Inter had other ideas. A loose ball rebounded into the path of Icardi and he turned smartly to smash in an equaliser.
It was frustrating to miss out on the victory, especially after such a dominant display and enjoying so many more chances than the home side.
But ultimately, it was nothing but an anecdote. Barça are through to the last sixteen. For a staggering fifteenth season in a row! And there are still two more games in what they were calling the ‘Group of Death’ to play!
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