Inter 1-0 Barcelona: Calhanoglu strike moves Nerazzurri up to second

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

A brilliant strike from Hakan Calhanoglu gave Inter a 1-0 Champions League win over Barcelona that moved them into second place in Group C.

The Nerazzurri had already seen a goal disallowed before Calhanoglu fired past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in first-half added time at San Siro on Tuesday.

The LaLiga leaders improved in the second period and saw a goal of their own ruled out when Pedri's tap-in was ruled out for an Ansu Fati handball.

But despite some late pressure and a penalty shout for Barca, under-fire Simone Inzaghi's men held on to earn three points which put them above the Catalan giants.

Inter thought they had a penalty when Joaquin Correa's flick came off Eric Garcia's arm, but after referee Slavko Vincic took a look at the pitchside monitor, Lautaro Martinez was deemed to be marginally offside in the build-up.

Correa then had a goal disallowed, showing great composure to take it around Ter Stegen and finish, only to watch the linesman's flag go up before he could celebrate.

Calhanoglu broke the deadlock for Inter with a superb strike in first-half injury time, taking a touch to control Federico Dimarco's pass before rifling into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards out.

Ousmane Dembele nearly levelled when his drive from a tight angle came back off the left post as Barcelona pressed after the interval.

Xavi's men then had a goal chalked off, as Dembele's cross caused havoc in the Inter box before Pedri applied the finish, but only after Andre Onana had tipped the ball onto Fati's hand.

There were strong claims for a Barcelona penalty in stoppage time when the ball appeared to come off Denzel Dumfries' arm, but no spot-kick was awarded following a VAR check and Inter clung on for three precious points.

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    A low-quality first half, in which the only talking point was an overturned Croatia penalty, made way for a far more gripping second period.

    Romelu Lukaku was brought on at half-time and squandered a few big chances, though ultimately the match finished goalless as Belgium suffered a shock early exit. 

    Belgium were given an early reprieve when a penalty awarded for Yannick Carrasco's challenge on Andrej Kramaric was overturned for offside against Dejan Lovren in the build-up as Luka Modric was lining up to take it.

    The arrival of Lukaku coincided with the game finally coming to life, the Inter striker forcing Dominik Livakovic into the first save of the contest a little over three minutes after coming on.

    That in turn sparked Croatia into life and Thibaut Courtois – on his 100th cap – made three saves in the space of four minutes to deny midfield trio Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric.

    Lukaku then hit the post with plenty of the net to aim for after Carrasco's blocked shot fell nicely in his path, before heading over from close range with the goal again gaping – though VAR may have intervened even if he had scored.

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    Morocco became the first African team to top a World Cup group for 24 years after beating Canada 2-1 on Thursday.

    First-half goals from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri proved enough with Nayef Aguerd's own goal - the first of the tournament - nothing more than a consolation for a Canada side who return home without a point.

    Morocco must now wait for Thursday's Group E games to see who they will face in the last 16 at Education City Stadium on Tuesday.

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    Steven Vitoria’s backpass to Milan Borjan was a little short and the goalkeeper compounded the error with a heavy touch which fell nicely for Ziyech to chip the ball into an empty net from 25 yards.

    Canada looked vulnerable every time Morocco came forward and more naïve defending contributed to the second goal midway through the first half.

    Achraf Hakimi’s long ball from right-back exposed centre-half Kamal Miller and En-Nesyri ran on to it before firing under Borjan, who again should have done better.

    Having posed no attacking threat whatsoever, Canada halved the deficit five minutes before the break. Sam Adekugbe skipped past Hakimi down the left and his low cross was diverted goalwards by the toe of Aguerd with Yassine Bounou unable to keep it out at his near post.

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    Alphonso Davies volleyed wide on the stretch before Canada came within inches of an equaliser after 71 minutes, 39-year-old substitute Atiba Hutchinson heading on to the underside of the bar with Alistair Johnston unable to bundle the rebound over the line.

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    "For me, it has been [a] long time [coming] for the fans," he added. "[They] have spoken about this for years. Since Alex Ferguson [left], the club has been up and down,

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