Inter Milan loses in Barcelona but reaches final

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 29, 2010
Adjust font size:

Inter Milan loses in Barcelona but reaches Champions League final

Inter Milan loses in Barcelona but reaches Champions League final.

Gerard Pique scored the only goal of the game as FC Barcelona beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal on Wednesday night. However, the result was not enough for a Barca side that needed to win by two goals and Inter qualify for the final as a result of its 3-1 win in the first leg.

It was probably a fair result in a game where defending champions Barca did all of the attacking, but struggled to find a way though a magnificently organized visiting defense and failed to create enough clear cut chances.


Inter Milan's coach Jose Mourinho celebrates after their Champions League semi-final second leg soccer match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona April 28, 2010. [Xinhua/Reuters Photo]

After several days in which the home side had worked hard to whip up fervor, the Camp Nou Stadium was packed to the rafters with 98,000 home fans, who created a pressure cooker atmosphere in the minutes prior to kick off.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola responded to his side's need to score at least two goals, by naming an attack minded side with Pedro, Leo Messi and Ibrahimovich in attack. He also made one surprising change in defense: with Carlos Puyol out through suspension, Guardiola opted to play Toure Yaya at center half with Gabi Milito at left back.

Inter Milan's starting 11 included two former Barcelona players, Thiago Motta and Samuel Eto'o, along with Gabi's brother Diego.

Motta lasted less than 30 minutes in the game before being sent off for two yellow cards, the second of which was for a hand in the face of Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, who was happy to make a meal of an action that was foolish rather than violent.

Barcelona had controlled all of the play and enjoyed 80 percent of the ball, but until Messi produced a brilliant save from Julio Cesar in the 32nd minute, the home side's only chances were two shots from the lively Pedro, both of which flew wide of Julio Cesar's left hand post.

Inter was happy to sit deep and try and absorb Barcelona's pressure and after Motta's sending off, they sat even deeper looking to deny space to the Catalans.

As a result Barcelona's only chance before the break was an Ibrahimovich free kick that again flew wide of the Inter goal.

Guardiola reacted at the break bringing Maxwell on for Milito to give his side more mobility on the left of midfield.

Still the chances would not come against a rival that had its strikers Milito and Eto'o working as full backs and Guardiola threw youngsters Jeffren and Bojan Krkic into the fray.

Nevertheless Julio Cesar had not made a save until the 83rd minute when Pique finally scored for Barca. The defender had pushed into an attacking role and was in line with the last defender when he turned and fired home from close range to leave his team needing one goal and the tie on a knife edge.

Xavi tested the Inter keeper after 86 minutes and seconds later Messi sprang to life with a left foot shot as Inter renounced any thought of the counterattack.

Bojan had ball in the back of the Inter net in injury time, but the goal was ruled out for a previous offside from Toure and there was no time left for anything else.

Inter will face Bayern Munich in the final.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from