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Barcelona (2-0) Inter Milan: 5 Talking Points, UEFA Champions League 2018-19

ANALYST
Feature
18.05K   //    25 Oct 2018, 06:37 IST

Rafinha celebrates the opening goal with Jordi Alba
Rafinha celebrates the opening goal with Jordi Alba

Barcelona edged one step closer to the knockout stages in the UEFA Champions League after goals from Rafinha and Jordi Alba earnt them a comfortable victory over Inter Milan at the Nou Camp.

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

FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B
FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B

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.

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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.

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