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Inter Triumphant; Barcelona Vanquished!

Posted by Ryan Ross Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Tuesday 20th April saw the biggest game in Inter Milan's modern history. They took on the greatest team in the world, in Europe's top competition; and they won! Jose Mourinho went toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola and outclassed him; the Special One shined again.

Before the match, the Spanish heavyweights were being touted as comfortable winners, with Inter cited as the underdogs. The hype was all about an Argentinian player known as Lionel Messi, but on this night another Argentinian made a statement; enter Diego Milito. Inter's hitman is the club's top scorer this season and he opened Barca up with a goal and two assists; placing Inter in the driving seat. Mourinho's team travel to Spain next Wednesday riding atop a wave which has seen them won their last 6 consecutive games in Europe.

Jose stated his intent to attack Barcelona from the off, conveyed by fielding a full strength side capable of matching their opponents. Julio Cesar started in goals behind a back four of Maicon, Walter Samuel, Lucio and Zanetti. A midfield trio of Motta, Cambiasso and Sneijder provided the base for the "Three Musketeers" to attack, Eto'o, Milito and Pandev.

Barcelona never had any intentions of playing a defensive game and looked to attack, attack, attack. The ever present Valdes played between the posts, Alves, Pique, Puyol and Maxwell lined up in defence. Busquets, Xavi, Keita were deployed to counter Inter's strength in midfield, and Messi, Pedro and Ibrahimovic started in attack. Maxwell and Ibra were making their second return to the San Siro after leaving last summer.

The game opened with blistering start as both teams looked to take an early advantage. Samuel Eto'o went close, but Valdes saved only for Milito to blast wide after being ruled offside. Immediately after though, Barca countered and Maxwell charged down the left wing crossing to Pedro, who was waiting in the box to fire the ball emphatically into the net.

Inter showed that Jose Mourinho has instilled a "never say die" mentality into them, and responded immediately when Milito should have scored. But he accounted for this by setting up Sneijder shortly after for the equalising goal. Eto'o crossed the ball to the Argentinian maestro who flicked it onto the "Flying Dutchman" Sneijder; the Dutchman couldn't miss and his shot deflected off Valdes's leg into the depth of the goal's net.
The Nerazurri were flying and the second half began as Milito layed on a pass for Maicon who battled his way through Barca's box and slotted the ball past a dismayed Valdes into the bottom corner. Barcelona tried to respond in vain, but the magestic Julio Cesar was waiting for them; saving from Messi and then pulling off a superb reaction save from a Busquet's header; there was just no way he was going to let the Spaniards get a second away goal.
The Argentinian "Prince" got his goal in the 61st minute. Milito slipped into Barcelona's box, where he pounced on a header from Wesley Sneijder. Again it was Eto'o who had started this move off by putting a cross in from the right wing.

Barcelona suddenly came to life after conceding a 3rd goal, a sense of urgency had hit them. They dominated position and reduced Inter to having to crowd out their opponents from creating any opportunities; Cesar was again at the top of his game. Messi had a freekick which he curled around the wall, but Cesar managed to get a palm to it and concede a corner. Seydou Keita had a speculative drive which bounced awkwardly infront of Cesar, but it just wasn't possible to beat the Brazillian again. Pique conjured up a majestic assist for a spectacular overhead kick from Busquests, but again the Brazillian keeper stood firm and denied Busquets.

The match finished on a sour note though for the Nerazurri fans as Mario Balotelli showed why he can't be trusted by Mourinho. The player made several mistakes once he came on and the Inter fans showed their feelings about this, berating him for it. "Super Mario," decided he wasn't having this, and made an offensive gesture to the fans. As if this wasn't enough, after the final whistle whilst the rest of the team were celebrating, Balotelli threw his shirt to the ground in disgust and stormed down the tunnel. Things did not end there though, a confrontation between Marco Materazzi and Mario happened and the player made his way to the carpark where he was attacked by fans; security guards came to Mario's rescue, but Sky Italia managed to capture the rucus on footage. This behaviour is not acceptable for an Internazionale player and he is sure to be punished accordingly.

Not letting this detract from what was a fantastic night for Inter's fans, they were the better team and deserved their victory. Guardiola complained about "the lack of water" on the pitch, stating his team require a wet pitch so they can move the ball faster; something he promised will happen at Camp Nou next Wednesday. Mourinho though, was up to his usual tricks, accusing the Barca players of crowding the referee after the match and trying to put pressure on the official next week.

So Inter vs Barca part two occurs next Wednesday, both teams have a chance of making it to the final in Madrid; but Inter have the better chance after part one. Can Barca make a comeback? You decide.

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2 comments

  1. Patrick Said:
  2. So did you enjoy the result or not? It's ok, Kevin, to take a side. I know you have a soft spot of Argentines.
    Inter played BARCA perfectly. Mourinho and his Nerazzurri are probably the only side that can stop Barca. I think FC Barcelona have dug themselves too deep of a hole. Inter will go to Camp Nou and score at least once, (2-1 to Barca) is my prediction.

     
  3. Ryan Ross Said:
  4. I thoroughly enjoyed the result! I think it was a great performance by Inter and I expect us to make it through to the final and win that now!

     

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