Malcom came on in the 81st minute and had an immediate impact. Icardi levelled six minutes later to deny Barça guaranteed top spot in group B
Inter vs Barcelona: match report
Barcelona and Inter shared the spoils at the San Siro in a frantic, intense and end-to-end game, with goals from Malcolm and Icardi coming late on and just four minutes apart.
If the visitors were missing Messi for anything, it was that killer instinct in front of goal. With 65 percent of the possession and ten shots on goal (four on target), the visitors dominated the first half, but failed to take their chances. Although nothing can be taken away from Inter keeper Handanovic, who had to make four decent saves to keep Barca at bay – the best of which denied Coutinho, who hit a low and hard strike from range that was going straight for the bottom left corner.
The front three of Coutinho, Suarez and Dembélé were a handful for the Inter defence all through the first half, with Suarez having a couple of chances from close range, but the Uruguayan failed to capitalize on them.
Inter, for their part, had a couple of moments with the little possession they had, the best of which fell to Kwadwo Asamoah, who, after making a darting run down the left, played it forward to Perisic. The winger squared it back to the oncoming Asamoah who had continued his run into the box, but the left back’s close range effort was just wide. Having done all they could to deal with the Barca bombardment, the hosts were no doubt happy to hear the half-time whistle as they looked to regroup at the break.
The frantic, intensity of the game did not let up in the second half, the only difference was that Inter played a more prominent role, with wingers Politano and Perisic creating problems for Barca down both flanks. And in the 65th minute, Inter should have gone one-nil up when Perisic broke down the left. The Croatian winger put a beautifully weighted cross into the box to pick out the run of the oncoming and unmarked Politano, whose header from close range sailed wide of the right-hand post.
Barcelona, however, continued to dominate possession and almost took the lead five minutes before Politano’s chance through Rakitic. The visitors found themselves in a three-on-two with Rakitic on the overlap on the right. Suarez put the ball into this path, and Rakitic, with only the keeper to beat, could not put it in the back of the net.
Barca continued to plug away and eventually got their just awards in the 83rd minute. Coutinho played a simple pass forward to substitute Malcolm, who, with his first play of the game, made space for himself inside the box on the right to drive his shot past Handanovic into the bottom left corner – 1-0 to the visitors.
But Inter’s fighting spirit did not let up and within four minutes they were level. Sergio Busquets failed to properly deal with an Inter cross from the right, and Vecino was first to spring on the loose ball in the box. Vecino’s shot was deflected, but only to land at the feet of his teammate Mauro Icardi, who was somehow completely unmarked by the six yard box. Three Barca defenders came rushing towards him but they were too late; the Argentinean struck the ball low and through the legs of Ter Stegen to even the scoring. And that was the last meaningful piece of action before the referee blew the game up a few minutes later.
With just a third of the possession and one shot on target, which they converted, Inter will be happy to have secured the point. Barca, meanwhile will be frustrated and disappointed that they did not take some of their earlier chances to see off the hosts. But they leave Milan with a point and their place guaranteed in the last 16.
Inter vs Barcelona live updates:
93' Peep, peep, peep! And that's it. Well it was a game that deserved goals and they finally came at the end and just four minutes apart. Inter were much better looking in the second half and created there fair share of chances. Barca will be frustrared and disappointed they didn't take some of their earlier chances to see off the hosts. But they leave with a point and with one foot in the last 16.
91' Malcolm puts an excellent cross into the box from the right towards Suarez, who reaches high but it's just over his head.
90' There will be three minutes added on here.
87' Inter goal: Vecino takes a shot from close range, it's blocked but falls to Icardi, who is somehow unmarked around the six yard box. Three Barca defenders come rushing towards him but they're too late, he shoots and it goes under the legs of Ter Stegen.
87' GOAL INTER!!!!
83' GOALLL BARCA!!! Malcolm, who is barely on the field two minutes, with his first touch of the game. The Brazilian is set up by compartriot Coutinho, and takes a shot from the right side of the box about 12 yards out. His low shot sails past Handanovic and into the bottom left corner.
81' Change from both sides: Politano for Candreva (Inter); Dembele is off for Malcolm (Barca)
80' This is perhaps the longest the game has gone without a shot on goal. Barca trying to work something, but Inter are defending well.
73' Vidal coming on for Arthur. Let's see how this changes things.
69' Valero, who came on for Nainggolan, sets Politano off down the right, he cuts inside, twists and weaves but his shot is blocked.
67' Dembele shoots from the edge of the box. It's low and on target, but Handanovic gets down low to save.
65' Inter break down the left with Perisic. He puts a beautifully weighted cross into the box for Politano, who should have done better with the header from close range. But it goes wide of the right post. That was Inter's best chance of the game.
60' Barcelona break! It's three on two, Suarez pushes it to the overlapping Rakitic on the right, his shot from 8 yards out is saved by the keeper! That was perhaps Barca's best chance of the game.
57' Suarez is appealing again, this time for a handball inside the box by Perisic, but the referee says no. Instead it's a corner, from which Barca do nothing.
54' Chance Inter! Lenglet makes an absolute shambles of dealing with Perisic's cross from the left; Vecino has his back to the goal when it falls to him. He tries an overhead kick, but it's nowhere near good enough. Far from easy though. Lenglet will be counting his lucky stars.
50' More of the same here in the second half, frantic, end-to-end stuff. Suarez goes down just outside the box and is appealing for a free kick, but the ref waves it on.
49' Politano has been creating some problems for Barca early on in the second half, and has won a free kick in a dangerous area for Inter. But the hosts fail to capitalize on the set piece.
46' And Barcelona get the second half underway.
The teams are back on the field and ready for the seond half. No changes for either side.
Barcelona had 65% of the possession in that first half, with 10 shots on goal, four of which were on target and saved by Handavonic. Inter meanhwhile, with so little possession, have had a few chances on the counter, but, with only three shots off target, are yet to force Ter Stegen to make a save.
46' And the ref calls an end to the first half! Wow, I think everyone needs a break here. It's been frantic, intense, end-to-end stuff. Barca have had plenty of chances but have failed to take them. Although nothing can be taken away from Inter's keeper Handanovic, who has made a number of decent saves. Inter will be happy to take a break and regroup, while Barca will look to continue the bombardment in the second half.
42' Coutinho's deflected shot falls to Suarez, who hits one low but straight at the keeper.
37' Coutinho's low and hard shot from distance forces a save from Handanovic. Decent effort.
35' Busquets finds Sergion Roberto down the right, his squared pass goes to oncoming Suarez goes behind the Uruguayan and Inter clear it away.
30' Barca piling on the pressure now! Inter hanging on for dear life as Suarez's shot from the right goes across the face of the goal. A let off for the hosts, who are having all sorts of problems containing the Barca front three.
28' Coutinho, Suarez and Dembele link up well. Rakitic has an overlap on the right and is screaming for it. Dembele doesn't see him and is dispossessed before he can get a shot off.
26' Perisic goes in very late with a challenge on Pique in Barca's penalty area. He's lucky not to be booked there... reckless stuff.
22' Chance Barca! Busquets lobs one towards Suarez at the edge of the box. The Uruguyuan unorthodoxically controls the ball with the side of his face, before trying to lob the keeper, but it bounces just wide of the right-hand post.
19' Best chance for Inter so far! Full back Asamoah breaks and comes darting down the left, he passes forward to Perisic but contimues his run into the box. Perisic sqaures a pass back to the left back and his first time strike is just over.
16' Inter are pressing incredibly high here, trying to smother Barca and stop them playing it out from the back.
12' Chance of the game! Rakitic passes to Suarez who, just outside the box, cuts to the left, beating his man, and takes a decent strike, but it's just over! He should have done better.
10' Nainggolan gets on the end of a wayward pass by Politano. The Belgian puts in a decent cross from the left, but Ter Stegen is first to it.
9' Arthur puts the ball into the path of Suarez, who shoots from the left about 8 yards out, but it's gone completely sideways and across the face of the goal.
7' Arthur is dispossessed in the center and that could have been dangerous, but the ref says he was fouled.
4' Coutinho delivers a corner from the right, but it's cleared away by Inter.
2' Now Barca have a chance with Dembele, who hits one from distance! It's powerful and on target, but saved by Handanovic.
1' And the game has begun with Inter kicking off. And they immediately they create a chance with Icardi setting up Politano. It's on target but saved by Ter Stegen.
Nainggolan removes some chewing gum from his mouth and tosses it towards the sideline. He looks primed. Barcelona playing their first game in their new, very pink third kit.
The teams are in the tunnels now and preparing to make their entrance in front of this noisy San Siro crowd.
Inter have a decent home record against Barcelona in recent years. They are unbeaten in the their last three home games against the LaLiga champions, with two wins and one draw.
Inter beat Genoa 5-0 last weekend, and were able to do so leaving Mauro Icardi on the bench. His wife and agent said on Italian TV that she believes Juventus could not afford the same luxury by leaving Ronaldo on the bench. You can see our story on Wanda Nara here.
Inter XI: Handanovic, Vrsaljko, De Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah, Vecino, Brozovic, Politano, Nainggolan, Perisic, Icardi
So in the end it seems Messi is still not fit enough to return. Inter will be fancying their chances a bit more now.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Pique, Alba, Roberto, Lenglet, Arthur, Busquets, Rakitic, Dembélé, Coutihno, Suarez
Inter vs Barcelona match preview:
Barcelona travel to Italy to take on Inter Milan in Group B of the Champions League, with Ernesto Valverde’s side knowing a win will see them through the last 16 of the competition with two group games to spare.
Having beaten Inter 2-0 at home at the Camp Nou two weeks ago, Barcelona have nine points from three games and are in a commanding position going into the game. The big question surrounding the Blaugrana is whether their captain Lionel Messi will start the game.
The Argentinian talisman is back in the squad this week after fracturing his arm two weeks ago, and coach Valverde said they would wait to until today to decide if he was fit enough to play. If he doesn’t start, Brazil’s Rafinha could step into his position ahead of Dembélé and Malcolm, joining Suarez and Coutinho up front. With or without Messi, Barcelona are favourites to win this tie, and have won three of their last five games against the Italian side.
But Valverde said he is expecting a better Inter to the one that lost at the Camp Nou two weeks ago. Since that loss, the Italian club have won their last two Serie A games by an aggregate score of 8-0, and will go into the game with confidence and with star man Radja Nainggolan, who missed the game in Barcelona two weeks ago, available.
Inter, of course, also have their own deadly Argentine striker in the form of Mauro Icardi, who will look to cause problems for Pique and Lenglet in the Barca defence. Icardi has eight goals from 11 games – two in the Champions League – and if Inter manage to pull off a win tonight, the Rosario-born striker’s contribution will be vital. Second in the group behind Barca with six points, a draw or win would put the Serie A side in a strong position to qualify for the last 16.
Coach Luciano Spalletti has no injury worries for tonight’s game, but will be without Dalbert and Roberto Gagliardini, who are ineligible to play in the Champions League.