Barça consolidated as a group leader in the Champions League with a great victory against Inter despite having the absence of Leo Messi (2-0).
Rafinha was chosen by Valverde to replace Messi in the first game of Barça without the injured Argentine crack, a decision that left on the bench to Dembelé, perhaps his natural relief. And the game started with well-defined roles: a Barça trying to take the initiative and an Inter waiting to mount some against.
The first great Barça occasion came at 17 minutes in a corner well headed by Lenglet, who stopped Handanovic in distress. Shortly before Icardi, the listed interista star, had finished slightly above the crossbar of Ter Stegen.
Barça continued macerating the ball on Italian soil and Rafinha caressed the goal after a good combination with Coutinho and Suarez. It was a warning because shortly after, Leo’s substitute opened the scoring by finishing off a Coutinho center (min 32). The goal hurt Inter, who ended up locked in his area and crying out for a rest.
The second half started with a Ter Stegen paradon against a Politano shot and with a much more offensive Inter. That also gave more space to Barca, who could sentence in a shot from Coutinho to the post and managed it with a goal from Jordi Alba to pass Rakitic.