Barcelona v Internazionale background
Monday, October 15, 2018
Barcelona's last home game with Internazionale ended in a memorable result for the Italian visitors.
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Having seized the early initiative in Group B, Barcelona and Internazionale will both be looking to make it three wins out of three as they meet at the Camp Nou.
• The teams are level on six points having both beaten Tottenham and PSV Eindhoven, and even at the halfway mark of the group stage, the winners in Spain would be close to a place in the knockout rounds.
• Perhaps surprisingly for two clubs with such rich European history, the teams have played only six previous matches – all in the UEFA Champions League, and all since 2003.
• They met in the 2002/03 second group stage, Barcelona winning 3-0 in Spain before a goalless draw in Milan. The Spanish side finished first in Group A with Inter second, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals, while the Nerazzurri lost to neighbours AC Milan in the last four.
• Their next four fixtures all came in the 2009/10 edition, when the game in Milan again finished scoreless. A 2-0 victory in Spain followed for a Barcelona side coached by Josep Guardiola, Gerard Piqué scoring the first goal.
• Both again progressed to the knockout rounds and were reunited in the semi-finals, when Inter won the first leg 3-1 at San Siro. Despite a 1-0 defeat at the Camp Nou – via another Piqué goal – José Mourinho's Inter held on to reach the final, where they beat Bayern München to claim their third European title.
• Barcelona have therefore won all three home games against Inter, scoring six goals without conceding.
• Ernesto Valverde's side opened Group B with a 4-0 home victory against PSV Eindhoven before winning 4-2 at Tottenham on matchday two. With eight goals, they are the joint top scorers in the competition alongside Paris Saint-Germain.
• Spanish champions for the 25th time – and third in four years – in 2017/18, Barcelona have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015.
• Barça have won their group in each of the past 11 seasons, and have reached at least the quarter-finals in all of those UEFA Champions League campaigns, both competition records. In 2017/18, they succumbed to a remarkable Roma fightback in the last eight, going out despite a 4-1 home first-leg victory after losing 3-0 in the Rome return.
• That defeat at Roma ended Barcelona's ten-match unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League (W6 D4).
• Barcelona are unbeaten in 27 UEFA Champions League home matches, a run that started in September 2013 (W25 D2). They have won all their home group games in the last five editions.
• The Blaugrana's record at home to Serie A clubs is W16 D6 L2. They are unbeaten in their last 13 home fixtures against Italian visitors, winning ten, since losing 2-1 to Juventus in the 2002/03 quarter-final second leg.
• Having scored two late goals to beat Tottenham 2-1 on matchday one, Inter again came from behind to beat PSV by the same scoreline in the Netherlands in their second fixture.
• The win at PSV ended Inter's run of four successive away European defeats, and was their first victory in eight away matches (D3 L4).
• Fourth in Serie A in 2017/18, Inter are the last Italian team to win the UEFA Champions League, in 2010 – their third European Cup triumph, and first in 45 years.
• This is the 12th time Inter have been in the group stage – but the first since 2011/12.
• Inter have progressed from their group in their last eight UEFA Champions League campaigns.
• Inter did not take part in UEFA competition in 2017/18; their most recent European campaign came the previous season, when they failed to progress from their UEFA Europa League group.
• The Nerazzurri's last game with Spanish opponents was a 2-0 defeat by Atlético Madrid in the 2010 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.
• That 1-0 defeat at Barcelona in April 2010 was Inter's last trip to Spain, where their record is W3 D2 L13. Inter's last victory at the home of Liga opposition was a 5-1 success at Valencia in October 2004 – their record away European win.
Links and trivia
• Philippe Coutinho scored three goals in 28 Serie A games for Inter between 2010 and 2013.
• Barcelona's Rafinha spent the second half of last season on loan at Inter, scoring twice in 17 appearances.
• Keita Baldé played for Barcelona's youth teams between 2004 and 2011.
• Have also played in Spain:
Šime Vrsaljko (Atlético Madrid 2016–18)
Miranda (Atlético Madrid 2011–15)
Borja Valero (Real Madrid 2005–07, Mallorca 2007/08 & 2009/10, Villarreal 2010–12)
• Have also played in Italy:
Arturo Vidal (Juventus 2011–15)
Thomas Vermaelen (Roma 2016/17)
• Miranda scored two own goals in 12 appearances against Barcelona for Atlético.
• Have played together:
Thomas Vermaelen & Radja Nainggolan (Roma 2016/17)
Arturo Vidal & Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus 2012–15)
• International team-mates:
Rafinha, Arthur, Malcom, Philippe Coutinho & Miranda (Brazil)
Lionel Messi & Mauro Icardi, Lautaro Martínez (Argentina)
Ivan Rakitić & Šime Vrsaljko, Marcelo Brozović, Ivan Perišić (Croatia)
Luis Suárez & Matías Vecino (Uruguay)
Jasper Cillessen & Stefan de Vrij (Holland)
Nélson Semedo & João Mário (Portugal)
Thomas Vermaelen & Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)
• Perišić's goal for a Croatia team including Brozović, Vrsaljko and Barcelona's Rakitić was not enough to prevent a 4-2 defeat by Samuel Umtiti's France in this summer's FIFA World Cup final.
• Vrsaljko, Brozović and Perišić all featured in Croatia's 6-0 loss to a Spain side including Sergio Busquets in the UEFA Nations League on 11 September.
• Gerard Piqué made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League on matchday two, the tenth Spaniard to reach that landmark.
• Sergio Busquets' next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 100th.
• Barcelona came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup on 12 August, Piqué and Ousmane Dembélé with the goals.
• Barcelona had won only once in five matches in all competitions (D3 L1) and were without a win in four Liga matches (D3 L1) – their worst run since March-April 2016 (D1 L3) – before beating Sevilla again on Saturday, winning 4-2 at the Camp Nou to leapfrog their visitors and move to the top of the Liga table.
• Lionel Messi had to be replaced midway through the first half against Sevilla – having provided a goal and an assist – after damaging his arm in a fall. Subsequent tests showed a fracture that is expected to keep him out for three weeks.
• Messi has 12 goals in 11 games in all competitions this season and tops the UEFA Champions League scoring charts with five goals.
• Luis Suárez had gone six games without a goal in all competitions before finding the net from the penalty spot at the weekend.
• Philippe Coutinho, who opened the scoring on Saturday, has three goals in his last five Barça appearances.
• Dembélé scored three times in his first four Liga appearances this season – matching his goal total for the whole of last season – but is without a league goal since 15 September.
• Samuel Umtiti has been out since 26 September with a knee injury while Thomas Vermaelen (hamstring) is also carrying a knock.
• Inter had won only once in four matches before matchday one but have won their last seven in all competitions. Mauro Icardi scored in added time to secure a 1-0 win in Sunday evening's Milan derby.
• Icardi, who also got both goals in a 2-1 win at SPAL on 7 October, has five in his last four matches for the Nerazzurri.
• Seven of Inter's 13 league goals this season have come in the final 15 minutes, more than any other Serie A club.
• Luciano Spalletti's side have kept five clean sheets in their last 16 matches.
• Inter are on a run of four successive away victories.
• Lautaro Martínez scored his first international goal as Argentina defeated Iraq 4-0 in an 11 October friendly.
• Miranda scored Brazil's late winner against Argentina on 16 October.
• Matías Vecino scored in Uruguay's 2-1 defeat against South Korea on 12 October and sat out the subsequent game with Japan due to a thigh injury, but played 90 minutes on Sunday.
• Šime Vrsaljko, who had been out since suffering a knee injury playing for Croatia on 11 September, returned at SPAL and despite a minor setback in his rehabilitation, also played against Milan.
• Radja Nainggolan (twisted left ankle) and Ivan Perišić (thigh) both had to be replaced against Milan, while Marcelo Brozović completed 90 minutes despite suffering with a thigh injury.