UEFA Champions League: Three Reasons Why Barcelona beat Inter Milan
Barcelona was going to have a tough time against Inter Milan, especially without Lionel Messi and Samuel Umtiti, but the sheer fact that their talismanic number 10 wasn’t present, could have handed the Nerazzurri a chance at a victory. But then again, this is Barcelona and one man certainly doesn’t run the show, despite what the statistics tell us and the reigning La Liga champions stepped things up when required.
Inter Milan did put up an incredible fight, but in the end, the sheer quality that Barcelona possesses even without Messi outdid Luciano Spaletti’s men. They did what Barcelona do, kept the ball for immense amounts of time with nearly 60+ percent of possession and that combined with a few moments of quality made a massive difference.
It could have been worse for the San Siro side, with Barcelona having more than their fair share of chances over the 90 minutes. In the end, the home side’s quality outshone the Serie A giant’s hardworking side in a brilliant Champions League group stage clash.
Here are three reasons why a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona beat Inter Milan:
#3 Luis Suarez- Predator turned creator
Luis Suarez, easily one of modern football’s greatest number 9s, with the Urugyuan playing an incredible part in one of football’s greatest trios alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi. However, while his goals always win him plaudits, combined with his desire to be everywhere on the pitch, the 31-year-old has lost his scoring touch in recent seasons. He struggled to find the net last season, with Lionel Messi and even Paulinho taking up most of the burden in the first half of the season.
While Suarez did eventually find his touch in front of goal, Barcelona finally realized that their prolific number 9 was slowly losing his powers. And apparently so has Luis Suarez, with the 31-year-old showing exactly why Barcelona still value him so much, despite his lack of goals this season.
Against Inter Milan, he was brilliant, his usual self as he harried and hustled defenders, but not only that he was a creator. He made the first goal that Rafinha finished brilliantly, but it was Suarez’s incredible pass that cut open the Inter defense perfect and all the Brazilian had to do was put it past Samir Handanovic.