Be honest, how many of you reading this watched the game with the team we had available and expected Barca to get a win? Against the Serie A leaders no less, and who, for the most part in the first leg, comprehensively outplayed us.
Every blaugrana supporter should firstly doff their cap to Ernesto Valverde, however hard that might be for some. He picks the team and when things do not go according to plan he is - rightly - slated for it.
By the same token, he didn’t take the easy way out against Inter but did what many have been crying out for and played Barca’s youth.
That it worked to such an extent should see the coach receive appropriate praise for a job well done.
❗️| After playing the 30 minutes to activate the clause on his contract, Carles Perez is now a First Team Player. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/ZJT5MwJyV9— Barça Watch (@BarcaWatch) December 10, 2019
The players deserve great credit too, of course. At a stadium where Barca sides of the past have rarely shone, they rode their luck at times but when the big moments arrived, they stood tall.
Goals for Carles Perez and Ansu Fati were the icing atop a very nice cake. Best served cold to those opposition supporters who think Barca are finished and are nothing without Messi.
After that 90 minutes, the club need to consider if moving on the likes of Carles Alena and Jean-Clair Todibo really is in their best interests.
Let’s assume that Gerard Pique only has another couple of seasons at best. In Todibo, he has a ready-made replacement.
Jean-Clair Tobido’s game by numbers vs. Inter:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 10, 2019
82% pass accuracy
8 ball recoveries
8/8 tackles won
3 defensive aerials won
Outrageous numbers. pic.twitter.com/90mnn3PgJn
By all means loan the Frenchman out for experience, but to consider selling him would be counter-productive. Ditto with Alena, given that we’re led to believe that Ivan Rakitic may soon be on his way.
Carles Aleña's numbers vs Inter Milan— Barcelona Podcast ️ (@theculetalk) December 10, 2019
8⃣4⃣% Pass Accuracy
0⃣4⃣ Key Passes
0⃣6⃣ Ground Duels Won
0⃣2⃣ Fouls Received
0⃣1⃣ Interception pic.twitter.com/N5d58SWUwU
Not to mention that both Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal are getting no younger.
If we are still to be seen as a truly progressive organisation, then these are precisely the sort of decisions that have to be given more than cursory consideration.
The right blend of youth and experience has always served Barca well, and if managed correctly, the club has the genesis of another really good side.
Outplayed a desperate Inter Milan side at San Siro with Wague and Firpo as wingbacks and Todibo starting in 3 man defense. A dream for Barcelona fans. Equation is clear. Only Messi should start among the players who are 30+, if we want to play like this— RAM (Inactive) (@MeticulousViews) December 10, 2019
Wague was excellent too and Junior Firpo was as good as he’s been since coming to the club, albeit he needs to lose his nervousness on the ball.
On the whole, there’s very little to be unhappy about, particularly as we had already qualified and even a 5-0 loss wouldn’t have mattered.
How refreshing then to see a team, a young team, treating a ‘dead rubber’ in the Champions League as though it really mattered.