Wednesday night at Camp Nou, Robert Lewandowski’s two late goals earned his team a 3-3 draw with Inter Milan, saving Barcelona’s Champions League aspirations.
Barca needed at least a draw to avoid missing the knockout rounds for a second consecutive season, and the Poland international delivered near the conclusion of a tense second half.
Barcelona are still in danger of elimination from the group stage of the competition, but Lewandowski’s equalizer in stoppage time has given them a slender hope of advancing with two games remaining.
Next week, Inter must defeat Viktoria Plzen at home to join Bayern Munich in the round of 16.
The manager of Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez, said Movistar Plus, “It’s horrible, I believe this Champions League is being really cruel to us.” “It is no longer in our control. The only thing left for us to do is swiftly shift our emphasis to Sunday’s El Clasico [against Real Madrid], recover, and concentrate on LaLiga, as the Champions League has become extremely difficult and problematic for us.”
Edin Dzeko was denied by the crossbar in the 15th minute as Inter attempted to carry the excitement of their 1-0 victory against Barcelona at the San Siro last Tuesday into the rematch.
Barca grabbed a merited lead at halftime when Ousmane Dembele blasted past Andre Onana following Sergi Roberto’s assist in the six-yard box shortly before the break. Barca had exerted significant pressure for the opening goal.
Nicolo Barella, who seized on a cross from Alessandro Bastoni and beat Marc-Andre Stegen from close range to draw Inter level early in the second half.
Shortly after the hour mark, Lautaro Martinez gave Simone Inzagh’s side the lead with a magnificent individual performance, settling Hakan Calhanoglu’s long ball over the top of the defense, beating his defender, and rifling in a low shot to increase the pressure on Barca.
Summer-signing Lewandowski achieved what he was called in to do in the 82nd minute when his header from a cross into the penalty area was deflected back to him by an Inter defender and he blasted past Onana for a 2-2 tie.
Inter’s Robin Gosens regained the lead minutes later with a neat finish on the counter before Lewandowski scored his brace with a header in the second half.
“Their first goal was a result of an obvious error by our defense, and we gave them too many opportunities. Soccer is a game of errors, and we cannot afford them in this situation “Xavi stated.
“This is the Champions League, and each mistake carries a steep penalty. You must win and defend well in order to score. We needed to continue to play as well as we did in the first half. That ferocity. Now it is difficult because we are no longer in charge.”
Barca is third in Group C with four points, three behind Inter and eight behind Bayern, who qualified for the knockout rounds on Wednesday with a victory against Victoria Plzen.