UEFA Champions League: Messi less Barcelona brush Inter Milan 2-0, Tottenham Hotspur held to 2-2 draw by PSV
Barcelona sans Lionel Messi continued their good performances in the Champions League as they brushed aside Inter Milan at home on Thursday.
Messi’s absence due to an injury during the match against Sevilla was always going to matter for the Catalan giants but Barcelona seemed to cope up well without their captain as they romped home to a 2-0 win to record their third win on the trot.
It was Rafinha, who spent the previous season on loan at Inter, who scored the opener in the 32nd minute and a Jordi Alba strike in the 83rd minute sealed the deal for the five-time champions.
Inter looked threatening but in patches but Barcelona dominated throughout the match and this game would serve as a good preparation for the El Clasico this weekend.
However, more goals could have been scored by Barcelona had it not been the athleticism and reflexes of Inter’s custodian Samir Handanovic who pulled off as many as nine saves on the night as he denied Luis Suarez and Clement Lenglet. But Suarez’s cross was volleyed into the back of the net by Rafinha as Ernesto Valverde’s side took the lead in this crucial Champions League fixture.
With seven minutes left on the clock, left-back Jordi Alba slotted one in from a ball by Ivan Rakitic as Barcelona completed a dominant 2-0 victory. However, the highlight of the match was Marcelo Brozovic’s clever dive which prevented Suarez from scoring off a free-kick.
In the other match of the group, Tottenham was held to a 2-2 draw by PSV Eindhoven. Hirving Lozano scored the opener in the 29th minute before strikes from Lucas Moura (39′) and Harry Kane (54′) took them ahead.
But with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris sent off after being shown a red card following his attempt to bring down Lozano, PSV smelled an opportunity to level the scores and they did so in style, with Luuk de Jong equalising in the 79th minute.