Barcelona have been officially knocked out of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League with two group stage games to spare as Inter Milan thouroughly dominated Viktoria Plzen at San Siro in the early kickoff in Group C, easily winning 4-0 and clinching a spot in the Round of 16 in front of their home fans.
Because of Plzen’s loss, Barça are now guaranteed to finish third and will play in the Europa League Playoffs next February once they find out their opponents in next week’s draw.
⏰ RESULTS ⏰— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 26, 2022
Inter qualify for round of 16 in style
Porto through if Atlético don't win tonight...#UCL
Plzen tried desperately to survive the Inter pressure and found themselves still tied 0-0 after the first 30 minutes, but a Henrikh Mkhitaryan header put the home team ahead and the floodgates were quickly open. Edin Dzeko made it 2-0 just before halftime with a tap-in inside the six-yard box, but there was more to come in the final period.
Dzeko doubled his tally on the night with an easy left-footed finish for the team’s third, and Romelu Lukaku came off the bench on his return from injury and scored an excellent goal to make it 4-0 and seal the deal.
Inter’s victory takes them to 10 points in Group C which ensures they are through even if they lose in Matchday 6 and Barça win their final two matches. If both teams end up equal on points, Inter have to head-to-head advantage over the Blaugrana and thus are guaranteed to finish second thanks to the tie-break rules.
Barça will face Bayern Munich at the Spotify Camp Nou in a few minutes, and because Plzen are already eliminated there is nothing to play for in the last two games other than pride. Barça will be in the Europa League next year, a sad ending to a Champions League campaign that began with a lot of excitement after the big summer signings.