Barca, Inter dish out 'super' spectacle

Inter forward Mauro Icardi equalising in the 87th minute against Barcelona at the San Siro. The Spanish giants are through to the Champions League last 16 while Inter need only a point to join them.
Inter forward Mauro Icardi equalising in the 87th minute against Barcelona at the San Siro. The Spanish giants are through to the Champions League last 16 while Inter need only a point to join them.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde hailed the Champions League's capacity to thrill after his side's electrifying 1-1 draw with Inter Milan on Tuesday, saying there was no need for a European Super League.

With a combined eight European Cups between them, the Group B game at the San Siro was the main attraction of Europe's elite competition this week and the fixture certainly lived up to expectations.

Inter captain Mauro Icardi snatched a draw for the Italian side with an 87th-minute equaliser after Malcom had given an impressive Barca an 83rd-minute lead in an end-to-end game.

Despite the draw, Barca still qualified for the last 16 of the competition for the 15th consecutive year, while Inter need only a draw in their next fixture with Tottenham to reach the knockout stage.

"I have the impression that the Champions League is already a Super League," Valverde told a press conference after the game.

"We saw a real spectacle tonight on the pitch and in the stands. These games are top-quality events - tonight's and our game at Wembley (a thrilling 4-2 win over Tottenham last month)."

German magazine Der Spiegel and a network of international media reported last week that plans for a Super League, involving clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United were being discussed.

 
 
 

According to Der Spiegel, the 16-team event would replace the Champions League and feature 11 "founders" - including Barca and Real - who could not be relegated for the first 20 years, and five "guests" including Inter.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti went on the defence when it was suggested that his side would not be a fundamental part of the proposed Super League.

"Inter is a team with a lot of history, a lot of power and with passionate supporters who make a real impact, as we saw tonight," the Italian said. "We would deserve to be there."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2018, with the headline 'Barca, Inter dish out 'super' spectacle'. Print Edition | Subscribe