Barcelona is in danger of being eliminated from the Champions League after drawing to Inter at Camp Nou.
Xavi Hernandez’s team entered the game with great intent and enthusiasm but little penetration. Edin Dzeko’s shot off the crossbar and Denzel Dumfries’ attempt to force a stop from Marc-Andre ter Stegen served as Inter’s warning to the Blaugrana that they were a threat.
Raphinha chased down a pass into the corner and kept it in less than five minutes before halftime as Barcelona started to stretch Inter a little more toward the end of the first period.
He released Sergi Roberto with a ball from behind the defense. Sergi then found Ousmane Dembele barreling into the six-yard box for the game’s first goal.
Only three minutes later, a brilliant stop by Ter Stegen preserved a tie. They had given themselves too many miracles to pull off, but a Lewandowski header allowed them to peek out.
The draw leaves Inter – who sit second, behind Bayern Munich, who progressed on Wednesday – three points ahead of Barcelona, with both to still play Bayern and Viktoria Plzen.
To avoid being in the Europa League in 2023, Barcelona must now hope that Inter loses both of their next two games.
Manager Xavi Hernandez will now be subject to unrelenting scrutiny for a team that still struggles to play well for 90 minutes in Europe.
Barcelona grab a late lifeline to keep their UCL hopes alive 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/0W2WAP2MNM
— 433 (@433) October 12, 2022
Barcelona pays the price for defensive woes
Inter easily penetrated Barcelona at any point in the game, especially in the second half.
Due to injury, Gerard Pique was moved to the center of the defense. However, he contributed to Barella’s goal by misjudging the ball’s trajectory, and Garcia was then easily defeated for the second.
Martinez was able to cross the ball across the whole width of the penalty area for Gosens to smash home the third goal on a single straight shot.
After Lewandowski’s fantastic goal in the 92nd minute, Barca pressed forward, creating big openings for Inter to take advantage of.
After 17 years in the knockout stages, Barcelona would have been eliminated in the group stages for the second straight season if Simone Inzaghi’s team had been more effective.
Although there were encouraging indicators, such as Raphina’s performance on the right and Lewandowski’s continued display of his prolific scoring abilities, their defensive troubles against top-tier opponents will worry Xavi greatly.
Inter were this close from sending Barcelona back to the Europa League 🤯 pic.twitter.com/tTM63rJwwU
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 12, 2022
Xavi: Champions League is cruel
After his team’s Wednesday 3-3 tie with Inter, Xavi spoke to Movistar+.
“The Champions League mistreats us. We deserved more after Munich, Milan, and tonight.”
“The first half was great; we just gave Dzeko a chance. Although we were happy with our performance at the break, we gave up too much in the second.”
“In the Champions League, our severe defensive errors cost us dearly. In addition to attacking, it’s equally important to defend and defend.”
“We should have continued the first half’s level of ferocity, but we didn’t. Now that it’s out of our hands, the Champions League is incredibly challenging. It would help if you reduced your mistakes since football is a game of errors.”
“We’re going to shift our focus to the league and El Clásico because the Champions League has grown to be challenging right now,” he acknowledged.