Inter Barcelona 1-0 The Nerazzurri’s feat at San Siro. Inzaghi’s team can breathe (but it didn’t solve his problems)

In the most difficult moment of the last three years, on the most important evening of this Champions League, Inter could only get up, or sink. He chose the first. He regained the victory, 1-0 against Barcelona, ​​a very heavy goal by Calhanoglu in what was a real play-off for the second round. It cannot be said that she has also found herself, because the performance was bad, for a long time frightened, in the final her own catenacciara. But at least the concentration, the desire to suffer from a team that seemed lost. And basically also a bit of luck, because the wheel had often turned wrong recently and instead this time the episodes, and also the Var, have rewarded the Nerazzurri.

With the Bayern Monaco already virtually qualified (today another goal against Viktoria Plzen), at home and with the return to Camp Nou, Inter could only win to keep up their dreams of qualifying in the round of death. She succeeded, and that’s what matters. It matters less how he did it, against a dull and constantly under rhythm Barcelona, ​​without a real game plan other than to close the spaces as much as possible and then hope for something up front.

For Inzaghi, who according to many was even playing the bench tonight, it is a breath of fresh air. After all, for once his choices, so unpopular recently, have also won. Calhanoglu lined up playmaker, leader in the middle of the field and also match winner. De Vrij revitalized, capable of undoing Lewandowski after a series of embarrassing performances. Onana himself, a thrill for each exit, graced by the Var on the classic scrooge (Pedri’s goal canceled, due to a fortuitous hand ball by Ansu Fati), finished undefeated, and with a good save.

Not that the result wipes out all the problems of this team like a magic wand. Inter played another trembling game. Especially at the start, where he replicated the same inadequate start he saw against Bayern in his debut: all crushed backwards, the Nerazzurri wait, take refuge in school passages and every time they risk a play they make a mistake. There seems to be no trace of the maneuver built by Conte, of the beautiful game embroidered by Inzaghi himself.

This Barcelona of Xavi, however, is not Bayern: it is understood after about twenty minutes, when the Spanish rearguard goes haywire on a simple long pass and Eric Garcia blatantly hits the ball with his hand in the air. It is not rigor only because the technology shows a truly millimeter offside by Lautaro Martinez. The mystery remains as to why referee Vincic went to consult the Var (he should have thought of all the semi-automatic offside). But still it is a signal. Barca keeps possession of the ball and does little, Inter slowly regains courage and a bit of the field. So when the first half, very bad, seems to have slipped away without emotion, the Nerazzurri’s advantage arrives and it is not even too casual: the action starts from a panoramic change of play by Dimarco and brings the ball to the edge of the area on the favorite tile. by Calhanoglu. Right to the corner, the roar of San Siro.

After the break we start again with the same script as at the beginning, but the score is different: Barcelona are a little more aggressive, Inter even more wait-and-see. The Spaniards, however, are unable to change pace: it takes them an hour to build the first real chance, with Dembele freed on the short side of the penalty area and walled by Onana. There is the goal canceled in Pedri, but then little else until the end. Inter continues to drop, completely renounces to try to double, when instead the impression is that it would take little to hurt the Spaniards. But net of so much pressure, he never really risks. Until the end, when the time expired Barca claims a penalty for a Dumfries coup that seems sunny: the image that completely clarifies the episode is not there, incredibly the referee does not even go to see him at the Var Inter thanks, wins, breathes. However, the crisis has not yet passed. And this was only the first leg of the Champions League play-off: the return leg will be played at the Camp Nou in a week.

Twitter: @lVendemiale

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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