Inter 1-2 Barcelona: Report, Ratings & Reactions as Youngest CL Scorer Ansu Fati Knocks Out Italians
Inter failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages after falling to a 2-1 home defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday night – having needed to match or better Borussia Dortmund’s result against Slavia Praha to progress.
A pulsating first half of Champions League football got underway in an enthralling end-to-end manner. Danilo D’Ambrosio and Romelu Lukaku spurned good openings for the hosts while Carles Perez almost caught out Samir Handanovic with a fierce drive from the left at the other end.
Despite the Nerazzurri looking the more likely, it was Ernesto Valverde’s men who took the lead through Perez. A driving run from Jean-Clair Todibo started the move with the ball eventually finding Antione Griezmann, the Frenchman playing a direct pass into the feet of Arturo Vidal only for Diego Godin to intervene. The Uruguayan’s touch, however, fell into the path of Perez, who made no mistake from close range.
Just when Barça looked like they’d take a 1-0 advantage going into the break, Inter equalised. An exceptional bit of hold-up play from Lautaro – who held off the 6’2 Todibo expertly – led to the Argentine setting up Lukaku, whose strike was deflected past Barça debutant Neto.
After a nervy start to the second period, Barça started to threaten in transition as Inter searched for a second – one they should’ve had through Lukaku, but his strike on the half-volley was straight at Neto.
With Dortmund’s lead meaning the home side needed a winner, Conte threw the kitchen sink at the Catalans, sending on Valentino Lazaro, Matteo Politano and Sebastiano Esposito in a bid to get that all-important goal.
The final goal, however, came at the other end as substitute Ansu Fati gave Barça a 2-1 lead, emphatically driving home from outside the area shortly after being brought on, the 17-year-old becoming the competition’s youngest ever goalscorer while knocking out Inter in the process.