Serie A’s lone representative in the Champions League advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-0 aggregate win over a feisty CSKA Moscow club. Their reward: facing probably the best team in the world, a Barcelona club that obliterated Arsenal yesterday at Camp Nou.
Inter did what it needed to do to advance in the tournament – play conservatively and not make stupid mistakes. Wesley Sniejder’s goal in the sixth minute had Moscow under the gun very early, putting them down 2-0 on aggregate and 1-0 down on away goals. Their quest to score two or more goals was further hindered by a second yellow card to Chidi Odiah for a stupid foul early in the second half. Inter tightened their defense for a few fruitless home team attacks, and basically ran out the clock by dominating possession at the end of the match.
Now the Nerazzurri will face a familiar foe. Barcelona and Inter shared the same qualifying group in the fall last year and their two matches were quite competitive. The clubs had a scoreless draw in the San Siro while Barcelona gained a 2-0 victory at the Camp Nou. Inter owner Massimo Moratti has already proclaimed the desire for “revenge” for the loss, but one has to wonder if this is possible.
Barcelona seems to be hitting its stride in the Champions League. Their 4-1 defeat of Arsenal yesterday (or maybe more accurately, Lionel Messi’s 4-1 victory over Arsenal) was an utter domination. After Bendtner’s early notch, Arsenal never could pull together a legitimate threat. Legitimately, you can claim this was partly due to the decimated Arsenal backline, but Barca also dominated their 2-2 draw at Emirates.
April 20 at the San Siro cannot come soon enough. In the interim, share your thoughts in the poll and comments section.