Rafinha and Alba on target as Messi watches on
Barcelona came through their first test without the injured Lionel Messi, earning a convincing win at home to Inter Milan to take control of Champions League Group B on Wednesday.
Midfielder Rafinha opened the scoring against the club where he spent the latter half of last season, bursting through the middle and finding Luis Suarez, then turning the Uruguayan’s cross in on the volley in the 32nd minute.
Spanish left back Jordi Alba killed off Inter’s resistance late in the second half with a thumping low finish, snapping the Italian side’s winning streak of seven games in all competitions and sealing a third straight win in the Champions League for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Barca top Group B with nine points while Inter are second on six, and a victory for the Catalans in the return fixture at the San Siro in two weeks’ time will practically seal their place in the last 16 of Europe’s elite competition.
Barcelona: ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Arthur (Vidal 77), Rafinha (Nelson Semedo 72), Luis Suarez, Coutinho (Munir 88).
Subs not used: Cillessen, Dembele, Malcom, Brandariz.
Bookings: Luis Suarez.
Inter Milan: Handanovic, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Asamoah, Vecino, Brozovic, Candreva (Politano 46), Valero (Martinez 63), Perisic (Balde 76), Icardi.
Subs not used: Padelli, Vrsaljko, de Vrij, Ranocchia.
Bookings: Brozovic, Skriniar, Martinez.
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