Barcelona tried it until the very end, but their Champions League journey is virtually over, thanks to a wild 3-3 draw against Inter Milan at the Spotify Camp Nou. Barça played a tremendous first half and took the lead at halftime, but an insane second half ended with a six-goal draw that leaves Inter just one win away from qualification to the Round of 16.
Barça is technically still alive, but this result means they are likely headed to the Europa League for a second straight season.
Barcelona still faces elimination at the competition’s group stage, but Lewandowski’s stoppage-time equaliser gave them a slim chance of progressing with two games left.
Inter need a home win over Viktoria Plzen next week to join Bayern Munich in the last 16.
Edin Dzeko was denied by the crossbar for Inter’s opener after 15 minutes as the visitors looked to carry the momentum of their 1-0 win over Barca at the San Siro last Tuesday into the reverse fixture.
Barca, who pressed hard for their first, took a deserved lead into the break when Ousmane Dembele shot past Andre Onana from Sergi Roberto’s pass across the six-yard box just before half-time Denzel Dumfries forced a strong save from Marc-André ter Stegen.
Inter drew level early in the second half through Nicolo Barella, who pounced on a cross from Alessandro Bastoni and finished past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from close range.
Lautaro Martinez fired Simone Inzaghi’s side into the lead shortly past the hour mark with a fine individual effort, settling Hakan Calhanoglu’s long ball over the top of the defence, beating his marker and lashing home a low shot to pile more pressure on Barca.
But Barça didn’t give up and gave themselves a chance ahead of the final 10 minutes: Alejandro Balde sent a cross into the box, and Robert Lewandowski won the initial header. After Stefan De Vrij failed to clear the danger, Lewandowski was quicker to the rebound and found the back of the net with the help of a Bastoni deflection.
Inter took the late lead when a long ball from the back found Lautaro down the right wing, and the Argentinean played a brilliant pass to find Robin Gosens, who made it 3-2 and ended Barça’s hopes.
But the Catalans gave themselves a chance when Lewandowski headed home a cross from Eric García to make it 3-3, and the Blaugrana had five minutes to score a fourth. They couldn’t, however, and the final whistle came to virtually end the Blaugrana’s Champions League journey.
Barça have to win their final two games, and Inter cannot get more than one point from their last two matches, but the Italians face the worst team in the group at home, needing a straightforward victory to qualify, while Barça has to take on Bayern Munich. Yeah, it’s pretty much game over.
Discussion about this post