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Barcelona left to rue VAR calls in Inter Milan defeat

Barcelona left to rue VAR calls in Inter Milan defeat

Inter Milan have recorded a valuable 1-0 victory over Barcelona at San Siro this evening to take the lead in the race for second place in Group C.

With Bayern Munich flexing their superiority over the ‘Group of Death’ by making it three wins from three with a 5-1 hammering of Viktoria Plzen earlier in the day, both Inter and Barcelona knew that only a win would do to keep pace with the German giants.

The first leg of their high-profile double-header went the way of Inter, though, as Hakan Calhanoglu scored the only goal of the game just before half time.

Barcelona thought they had an equaliser midway through the second half when Pedri had the ball in the back of the net, but VAR controversially ruled the goal out after the ball had brushed the arm of an unwitting Ansu Fati in the buildup.

The visitors were left even more aggrieved by VAR in the dying stages too as it denied them a penalty after Denzel Dumfries had seemingly knocked the ball away from Fati with his hand inside the area.

The defeat leaves Barcelona third in Group C, three points behind Inter Milan and knowing that anything other than a win in the return fixture at Camp Nou next week will leave them playing catch-up in the battle to qualify for the last 16.

Lift off for Inter Milan at the San Siro! 💥

Hakan Çalhanoğlu hits it hard and low to give his side the lead against Barcelona.

A gorgeous strike from the Turkish midfielder 😍#UCL

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 4, 2022

Calhanoglu’s goal in first-half stoppage time was ultimately the decisive moment as the midfielder drilled a low strike into the bottom corner from range.

Barcelona struggled to create too much in reply, although they will still feel hard done by after two contentious VAR calls both went against them.

The first was perhaps more understandable as the ball grazed Fati’s arm before dropping into the path of Pedri, who duly tucked it home, although Xavi‘s protests still earned him a yellow card.

The Barca boss will justifiably feel even more upset at the decision to deny his side a penalty in stoppage time of the second half, though, as Dumfries missed an attempted header and instead connected with the ball with his hand, pushing it away from Fati.

VAR once again checked the incident, but decided against penalising the Inter man to raise more questions over the consistency of its use.

Barca have now lost each of their three Champions League away games under Xavi, and will look bounce back first against Celta Vigo at the weekend and then at home to Inter in a crucial reverse tie next Wednesday.

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