Inter Milan 1-2 Barcelona: Player Ratings | UEFA Champions League 2019-20
Barcelona snapped an eight-match winless run away against Italian sides, as goals from Carles Perez and substitute Ansu Fati helped Ernesto Valverde's men to an impressive victory - while confining Inter Milan to the Europa League knockout stages in 2020.
Antonio Conte's side needed to match or better Borussia Dortmund's result against Slavia Prague to qualify for the last-16, but with Lucien Favre's side emerging as 2-1 winners in Germany, their last-gasp defeat means they'll have to settle for the Champions League's sister competition next February.
Having made seven changes to their side from matchday five, Valverde rested key players including Marc-Andre ter Stegen and talisman Lionel Messi: the first time he's been completely rested when available in the UCL since 2011.
Inter started brightly but found themselves a goal behind midway through the first-half, courtesy of Perez's razor-sharp finish from close-range. Strike partners Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku combined to devastating effect, with the latter equalising just before half-time. However, the Nerazzuri had a whopping three goals correctly ruled out for offside and were left frustrated - both by Neto's reliable goalkeeping presence and their wasteful finishing.
Their lack of profilgacy infront of goal was further emphasised late on, as Fati came off the substitutes' bench to break a Champions League record: becoming the competition's youngest ever goalscorer (17 years, 40 days old) with an effort on the edge of the box which cannoned in off the post.
The Guiseppe Meazza was hushed into silence. Despite their spirited efforts, Inter had nothing to show for their chance creation and crash out of the group stages for the second successive campaign. Here's a look at individual player ratings from a memorable encounter in Milan:
Samir Handanovic (Goalkeeper): 6/10
Made a few smart stops, especially to deny Perez's snapshot from an awkward angle in the first-half - which seemed to be creeping in at his far post. Did well to smother Griezmann's powerful effort after the break, but was left helpless to deny Perez from such close-range and Fati's strike cannoned in off the far post.
Diego Godin: 6.5/10
Ultimately the experienced centre-back should have done better to stop Vidal latching onto Griezmann's pass in the build-up to the visitors' opener. Despite a few shaky moments where the Uruguayan was targeted in one-on-one battles, he did okay and kept busy as expected. Completed six interceptions, three tackles, two blocks and one key pass over the 90 minutes.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
Solid in the tackle and unafraid to get involved in Inter attacks, he was brave to display his passing range - delivering some great long passes to stretch Barca's backline.
His first-half marauding run forward rather emphasised the Dutchman's desire to avoid defeat on this occasion, undoubtedly aware of their group situation. He did his reputation no harm with a steady display, making crucial clearances (5) and interceptions (4) when called upon.
Milan Skriniar: 7/10
Showing great composure under pressure to deal with Griezmann as and when he pressed from the front, his levels didn't drop when Barca themselves had sustained waves of creative pressure.
He gave away a dangerous free-kick for cynically hauling Perez down, who had bested him down the flank. However, the Slovakian international was Inter's only defender not to be carded and bravely stepped into a higher starting position as time wore on with a result to chase. Five interceptions, two blocks, 6/8 duels won.
Danilo D'Ambrosio: 5.5/10
Should have done better after an overlapping run saw him flash a header narrowly wide from close-range before half-time, but was otherwise unspectacular. Won eight of 12 duels contested, completing four tackles and two successful dribbles - but committed three fouls and had a poor 69.6% pass accuracy too.
Matias Vecino: 7/10
Certainly a busy game for the experienced Uruguayan, who frustrated in a creative sense but was impressive defensively. Had an early speculative effort from seemingly nothing narrowly miss Lukaku - a little less power and the Belgian probably would've broken the deadlock.
His decision-making in possession (51.6% pass success) was poor though, especially when opting to shoot from distance with teammates in support either side of him. Fortunately though, he excelled in the other facets of the game: 10 of 14 duels won, six tackles, one clearance and interception.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6.5/10
In the first-half, his poor free-kick deliveries ruined promising goalscoring chances and despite making important defensive contributions (4 interceptions), just wasn't involved enough in the final third as we know he's capable of.
As the hosts cranked up their pressure, he began to settle but unfortunately for Inter, this only happened once it was too late and Barca themselves had a result (1-1, then 2-1) to protect.
Borja Valero: 6/10
Near the half-hour mark, there was a forgettable few minutes for the Spaniard which rather typified his evening. His poor choice of pass saw a possible counter-attacking move break down, before he almost teed up Rakitic with another slack attempt - this time clearing danger on the edge of his box.
Rightly booked for a needless sliding foul on Firpo just before half-time, he had his moments but it wasn't surprising to see him hooked as Conte added fresh legs in search of the winner.
Cristiano Biraghi: 5/10
He forced a fine save from Neto before the break, having overlapped well and firing goalwards with power after Umtiti was effortlessly dispossessed in the Barca half. However, his crossing was awful (1 of 11 completed) and failed to provide reliable width down Inter's right-hand side - no wonder Lazaro was Conte's first alteration - on in his place.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
Romelu started quickly and might've had a goal and assist after six minutes. Instead, he watched on with frustration as D'Ambrosio fired wide and his thunderous effort was correctly ruled offside. After showing great footwork and composure to leave Umtiti sliding, he shaped to shoot but was denied a goalbound effort courtesy of Lenglet's perfectly-timed block.
He teed up D'Ambrosio again with a better opportunity, to no avail - before earning his reward just before the break. Combining alongside Martinez to good effect, his deflected strike left Neto helpless and brought the game back to life. However, he crucially squandered big opportunities after half-time and was left frustrated by Barca's conscious effort to shift him into non-threatening areas, out wide. Ultimately an annoying night, having started so well.
Lautaro Martinez: 7/10
The talented Argentine looked threatening and was understandably relishing the battle with Todibo in-and-around the final third, particularly after the early exchanges - where he seemed stronger and was eager to make a memorable impact here.
He had the beating of Umtiti and Lenglet on a number of occasions, creating chances for Biraghi and more besides. However, it was the aforementioned battle between himself and Todibo which proved pivotal in the build-up to Lukaku's equaliser, holding him off and earning an assist for his troubles. A persistent nuisance for Barca's backline to contend with, he was unlucky to have both goals chalked off, but those fine margins proved decisive.
Valentino Lazaro: 6.5/10
His introduction was clearly beneficial and Conte should have started him - offering more width and a genuine attacing outlet - but this substitution felt like it arrived too late.
He won two of three duels, completed a dribble and clearance alongside 91.7% pass accuracy (11 completed) but the Austrian's touch wasn't immaculate and service into his path didn't help either. It meant promising chances down his side often finished with groans from the home supporters and apologetic looks from teammates. Frustrating indeed.
Sebastiano Esposito: 6/10
The highly-rated teenager, still only 17, did his blossoming reputation no harm with another encouraging cameo on this occasion.
Pressed from the front whenever Barca had possession, was unafraid to tussle with Valverde's defensive mixture of experience and youthful exuberance - while creating a key pass and clearance too. Will yearn for more minutes in the Europa League nxt year.
Matteo Politano: 5.5/10
Replaced D'Ambrosio with 15 minutes left and his most promising moment was deleted by a last-ditch block courtesy of Lenglet, yet again. Not enough time to do much else of note.