Barça through to Champions League last 16 despite late Inter equaliser

Barça through to Champions League last 16 despite late Inter equaliser

Despite the late setback, Barca again proved their ability to perform without injured captain Lionel Messi, with stand-in skipper Busquets excited to see this improving side link up without their superstar.

Unfortunately, Mauro Icardi went and cancelled Malcom's goal out within 120 seconds of the restart, but that didn't stop the Spanish press from hailing the ex-Bordeaux winger's input.

"I have to thank the group for giving me confidence". "It's not fair that he's judged on one game in the cup because he had hardly played all season before that", he said. The 26-year-old saved Barcelona's blushes in two of their last three league games, against Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano, and is enjoying a stunning run of form.

"Problems can always flare up, but we played well and it was a game that had everything". However, Icardi was unable to score against Barcelona when the two teams played in Spain. "They came forward too easily in the first half and when you leave them possession constantly, you are going to be pinned back", said Handanovic.

"My dream with Barca is just starting", Malcom said.

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That dominance continued throughout the nearly the entire match as Barca had nearly complete command of the ball and goalscoring chances, Inter's best opportunity before Icardi's leveller coming in the 19th minute when Kwadwo Asamoah flashed over Ivan Perisic's low cross.

The shot could have been better but Luis Suarez also ought to have made more of the opportunity after the ball made its way towards him. "There was a lot of unjust [criticism] about the players that played in the cup".

"We were careful in training, but we knew that today's match would be like how it was with the intensity that there was". "But we're happy because our main goal of qualifying is achieved".

"There's the worldwide break after this game and he'll have two more weeks".