Hakan Calhanoglu‘s first half-strike proved the difference as Inter downed Barcelona 1-0 in their crucial Champions League matchup on Tuesday night.
With Bayern Munich running away with Group C, second spot will likely be decided by the home and away between the two teams over the next week.
The Nerazzurri’s victory at home thanks to a well-taken strike by Calhanoglu gives them the advantage, as the Blaugrana – just like in Munich – failed to find the back of the net.
Barcelona had all of the ball in the opening minutes, but it was Inter who had the most dangerous chance, with Calhanoglu’s strike testing Marc-Andre ter Stegen from distance.
After Joaquin Correa‘s goal was rightly called back for offside, Inter took the lead in stoppage time after some excellent buildup.
Federico Dimarco fired a ball across the pitch that reached Matteo Darmian, and after Lautaro Martinez‘s shot was blocked, Calhanoglu fired a low, right-footed strike into the bottom corner that left Ter Stegen with no chance.
Chances were few and far between in the early exchanges of the second half, with Barcelona finally coming close in the 63rd minute.
Raphinha found his way past two defenders and picked out Gavi. The Spaniard played a great ball into the path of Dembele, who fired his left-footed strike off the upright from close range.
The Blaugrana thought they had levelled the score minutes later when Onana whiffed on Dembele‘s cross from the right, allowing Pedri to fire home into an empty net.
However replays showed Ansu Fati handled the ball before it reached Pedri following a VAR review.
Barcelona continued to attack in waves and saw a penalty claim in stoppage time waved away despite replays showing Denzel Dumfries touched the ball with his arm in the penalty area.
However, their efforts were all for naught as Inter managed to hold on and claim an important victory in the battle for second.
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