UEFA Champions League: 3 Reasons why Barcelona only managed a point at San Siro
It took everything for a Lionel Messi –less Barcelona to win the last time both Inter Milan and Barcelona got together, but the home side did very well winning 2-0. However coming to the San Siro was always going to be tougher, with Inter usually playing very well in front of their own fans and at their own ground and today wasn’t any different. While both sides battled to open the scoring, Barcelona had the advantage with Malcom walking off the bench to open the scoring.
In the end, it was some great defensive work combined with Barcelona’s quality that should have had the away side in the lead at least a few times. Milan Skirniar and Stefan De Virj were rather good at the back for the home side and did well against Philippe Coutinho, Luis Suarez and even Ousmane Dembele.
But the Catalan giants had the lion’s share of possession which they used to their advantage until Mauro Icardi put the ball past Marc Andre Ter-Stegen four minutes after Malcom scores. Things could have been worse for either side, especially Barcelona as Inter Milan put up a rather incredible fight. However, after a great 90 odd minutes of football, the game ended deservedly level giving third-place Tottenham a mountain to climb.
Here are three reasons why Barcelona drew with Inter Milan.
#3 Ousmane Dembele has got to improve
He arrived from Borussia Dortmund after a rather staggering season with the Bundesliga giants, but at the same time, Dembele arrived in the shadow of Neymar’s disappearance. Replacing someone many then considered to be Lionel Messi’s heir for Barcelona, is a tough burden to put on anyone let alone a mere 20 years old just finishing his first full season in a major European League.
However, with Barcelona over-paying in the aftermath of Neymar’s €220 million fee, Ousmane Dembele arrived with insanely large expectations. And as a few pundits expected, with Barcelona failing to get Philippe Coutinho that summer, their main target, Dembele suffered both from form issues and injuries, with the Frenchman injured barely three games into his Barcelona career. This was a large chunk of his debut season, and with the 21-year-old starting this season fresh, he was expected to do much better.
The Frenchman started off brilliantly scoring and providing goals, but since late September, things have dried up and Dembele has lost manager Ernesto Valverde’s trust. With Lionel Messi out injured, many expected the 21 year old to get more game time but that has been the exact opposite, and today showed why. Even on the ball, Dembele stifled the attack frustrating the likes of Luis Suarez and Coutinho himself, with the Urugyuan taking it upon himself to talk to the Frenchman and help him out.
This is not the bright eyed and bushy tailed youngster who made himself a menace with his pace and trickery, but instead a mere shadow of the player that grabbed the world’s attention. Dembele clearly has the skill and the potential within him to be great, the question he has to answer, is does he want to do it for Barcelona?