Champions League dream shattered by Inter Milan
Barcelona was full of blaugrana shirts and the sense of excitement ever present during the build up to the big match at the Nou Camp last night. In the stadium the atmosphere was electric, and despite each team’s strong sense of purpose Samuel Eto’o warmly greeted ex-team mates Xavi Hernández and Victor Valdes before going onto the pitch.
From the start it was clear how the two teams intended to play, with Barça purely on the attack while Inter playing to defend their 3-1 advantage from the first leg of the semi-final.
The Catalans had huge possession throughout the match, holding onto the ball for 75%. But try and try and try as they might, the Inter defense just wouldn;’t allow them through.
Early on, in the tenth minute, Ibrahimovic got a yellow card which looked like it should have been a penalty for Barça, his ripped shirt evidence of who the victim really was. And what could have been the pivotal point of the game came in the 27th minute when Thiago Motta received a straight red card – he’d already got a yellow – for a completely unnecessary foul of Sergei Busquets. After receiving his marching orders, Motta was clearly upset, and launched another attack on Busquets showing little respect for his former team or team mates.
Down to 10 men, Inter continued to defend well. Despite some changes – Maxwell for Milito and Bojan for Ibra – time and time again Barcelona was unable to find the space to work their magic; until finally in the 84th minute Pique put it into the back of the net, although replays show he was probably offside.
Barcelona seemed to gain energy with the goal and kept on at it. When Bojan put the goal in the net a few minutes later it looked like Barça had done it; however, the goal was disallowed for a handball from Touré Yaya.
All in all a great match, with Barcelona fighting until the end. It’s a shame they couldn’t do enough to get that second goal, but they needn’t hang their heads in shame at the result.
1-0, Piqué (min 84)