Barcelona qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League after a compelling 1-1 draw away to Inter Milan as a late leveller from Mauro Icardi ended the Catalans’ perfect record in this season’s competition.
Barca tops Group B with 10 points after four games; Inter is second with seven, while Tottenham Hotspur is third on four and PSV Eindhoven bottom, and out of the competition, with one. Barca coped well with the home side’s initial high pressing, thanks to the composed passing of midfielder Arthur Melo, and soon began to dominate. Luis Suarez nearly scored what would have been a marvellous goal after controlling a high ball with his chest, but sent his attempted chip inches wide of the top corner of the goal.
Ivan Rakitic had also come close to finding the opener in the first period and was guilty of a glaring miss after the interval when he had only goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to beat, but fired straight at the body of the Slovenian. Brazilian Malcom had featured little for Barca since signing from Bordeaux in the summer, but thrust himself into the limelight less than two minutes after replacing the ineffective Ousmane Dembele, controlling a pass from Philippe Coutinho and drilling the ball under the diving Handanovic.
Barca was on its way to a first win in Italy since beating AC Milan at the San Siro in November 2011, but the ruthless Icardi had the final say against the club that let him go as a teenager. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur was staggering towards the CL trapdoor before Harry Kane conjured a late brace to earn his side a 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven.