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Valverde happy with Inter Milan result and qualification to last-16

Valverde happy with Inter Milan result and qualification to last-16

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has said that he is happy with the 1-1 draw against Inter Milan and his side’s qualification to the last-16.

The game which pitted second and third place against each other in their group, was a superb one, despite not having many goals.

Ernesto Valverde’s men were minus Lionel Messi, but they dominated from start to finish, controlling large parts of the play.

The first half saw Barca have multiple chances through Luis Suarez but the Uruguayan striker failed to really test Samir Handanovic. Down the other end of the pitch, Marc Andre ter-Stegen had very little to do as the likes of Icardi and Ivan Perisic struggled to break the Barca back-line.

The second half began in the same vein as the first with Barca on top, but as the game grew and grew – it seemed likely it would end goal-less.

Philippe Coutinho proved to be arguably the best player on the pitch and he was adamant to get his team on the score-sheet.

And, following the arrival of Malcom for Ousmane Dembele – Coutinho tricked his way past a few defenders before playing in his compatriot – who struck under Handanovic.

The lead didn’t last long though as Inter countered and a mix up in the Barca defence saw Icardi hammer the ball under ter-Stegen’s legs.

“We wanted to close out our lead, we did everything possible, but we’re happy because we managed to qualify,” Valverde told reporters.

“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.”

The result sees Barca remain top on 10 points, whilst Inter sit second but have been closed down by Tottenham Hotspur, who came from behind to beat PSV Eindhoven.