Malcom finally delivers after hard start at Barcelona

Paola Ditto
Novembre 8, 2018

Lionel Messi made the trip with Barcelona but is unlikely to play as he continues to recover from a fractured arm.

"I have to thank the group for their confidence in me".

The Argentine pounced in a goalmouth scramble, spinning and firing home from close range, and rewarding a brilliant performance from keeper Samir Handanovic that kept Inter in a game in which they struggled to get a foothold. "We always want the ball and have control of the game". Barcelona are three points ahead of Inter, after beating the Italian side 2-0 in their last game.

The more high-profile the opponent, the better Barcelona have played.

The Brazilian snubbed Roma to sign for Barca in a €41million transfer in July, but has since found his involvement severely limited with just one Copa del Rey start to speak of.

That dominance continued throughout the nearly the entire match as Barca had nearly complete command of the ball and goalscoring chances, Inter's best opportunity before Icardi's leveller coming in the 19th minute when Kwadwo Asamoah flashed over Ivan Perisic's low cross.

Therefore without their maestro who roams in attack, the pressure was heaped on the shoulders of the likes of Arthur, Ivan Rakitic, Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele to replace Messi's magical passing and creativity. "There was a lot of unjust [criticism] about the players that played in the cup". But his saves kept the hosts in the game right until the end, and Icardi took the one chance he had to save a point.

"We were careful in training, but we knew that today's match would be like how it was with the intensity that there was". However, the team has played well with a sense of unity in all phases of play, and individuals such as Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba have stood up in his absence, so Valverde should keep faith in them.

"His tears were emotional", Sergio Busquets said.

Mauricio Pochettino's team were starting to get desperate when skipper Kane equalised with 12 minutes left, and he headed home in the 89th minute with the help of two deflections as Spurs got their first win of the campaign.

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