MX23RW : Wednesday, November 21 14:36:58

Valverde happy with result as Barcelona qualify for last 16 of Champions League

Valverde happy with result as Barcelona qualify for last 16 of Champions League
© Reuters
The visitors drew 1-1 with Inter Milan.

Ernesto Valverde declared himself happy after Barcelona qualified for the Champions League last 16 following a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan.

Barca, who would have sealed first place in Group B with a victory at the San Siro, grabbed the lead in the 83rd minute through substitute Malcom’s strike.

Mauro Icardi then levelled four minutes later as the visitors dropped points in the pool for the first time.

Barcelona boss Valverde was quoted by Marca as saying in his post-match press conference: “We wanted to close out our lead, we did everything possible, but we’re happy because we managed to qualify.

“We played a great game, the quality of Inter is that they know how to handle themselves very well.

“They have earned many points in the last moments of matches.”

Lionel Messi was once again not involved, as for Barca’s previous four matches.

Messi, who has been recovering from a fractured arm, returned to training last week and had travelled with his team-mates to Italy.

Valverde said of not including the Argentinian in his matchday 18: “We didn’t want to take a risk with Leo.

“We were careful in training, but we knew that today’s match would be like how it was.”

While Barcelona are through with 10 points from four games, second-placed Inter have seven points and Tottenham, up to third after beating PSV Eindhoven 2-1, have four.

The next round of matches sees Barca travel to PSV and Inter take on Spurs away.

Valverde added with regard to the Italians: “They have a clear strategy, which is to always attack and be aggressive with their pressing.

“I don’t know what route Inter or us will have after tonight, but of course they are a team to consider, they have the DNA of never giving in and they will take that spirit into the Tottenham match.”

Inter boss Luciano Spalletti praised his side for the reaction to Malcom’s goal.

“We wanted to put in a performance that the fans could appreciate and the team responded in the right way,” said Spalletti, quoted on Inter’s official website.

“We were brave and we performed in line with what the crowd wanted.

“It seemed as though the match was going to finish 0-0. Their goal came in an unexpected fashion but our reaction was vital.

“The boys didn’t let up and the fact that Icardi went straight to get the ball after scoring the equaliser shows the character and mentality of this team.”

Spalletti added: “Qualification is in our hands, but we can’t let up in our remaining matches. We must go to London to get a result, convinced of our own abilities.”


Click here for more stories about Barcelona

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1273234181624
2Sevilla1272324141023
3Atletico MadridAtletico12651168823
4AlavesAlaves127231712523
5Espanyol126331610621
6Real Madrid126242016420
7Real Valladolid1245399017
8Levante125251819-117
9GironaGirona124531314-117
10Real Sociedad124441514116
11Getafe124441110116
12Real Betis124441215-316
13EibarEibar124351218-615
14Celta Vigo123542220214
15Valencia1228289-114
16Villarreal122551113-211
17Athletic Bilbao121741319-610
18Leganes12246916-710
19Rayo Vallecano121471425-117
20Huesca121381025-156

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account