Barcelona (2-0) Inter Milan: 5 Talking Points, UEFA Champions League 2018-19
Barca dominated the proceedings from the outset and took the lead in the 32nd minute through Rafinha. A delightful through ball from Luis Suarez found the Brazilian in the box and he volleyed it past Samir Handanovic in the Inter goal.
In the second half, their dominance in possession continued. They were rewarded for their persistent pressure seven minutes from time when Alba raced through to put the match out of sight for the home side.
Here are five talking points that arose from the group stage match at the Nou Camp:
#1 Suarez shines in Messi’s absence
At the weekend against Sevilla, Lionel Messi fell awkwardly and fractured the radial bone in his right arm. That therefore immediately ruled him out for both tonight’s match against Inter and this weekend’s El Clasico.
With any injury to Messi, there is obviously increased pressure on Barcelona’s other forwards to perform in his absence. Over a third of Barcelona's goals in all competitions this season have been scored by the Argentinian, so with him missing, it was always going to be difficult for Barcelona to produce the same numbers that they usually do.
However tonight it was almost like they didn’t need him, because Suarez was brilliant in his absence.
His feint touches, flicks and body movement with the ball were simply phenomenal on a night when he needed to be at his best. Additionally, he linked up superbly with both Rafinha and Philippe Coutinho and that showed with his inch-perfect through ball for the opening goal.
Picking the ball up from Rafinha, he sliced across his pass and weighted it perfectly over the head of the back-tracking Milan Skriniar to find Rafinha, who volleyed it into the bottom corner.
Unfortunately, all his performance was missing was a goal. But even without it, it was obvious the impact the striker had on the game and how important he was to Barcelona winning a crucial game in their aim to top their group.