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Barcelona   1 - 0   Inter Milan (agg 2 - 3)

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho, left, celebrates with Inter Milan team manager Gabriele Oriali

By Sam Lyon

Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan produced a defensive masterclass to reach the Champions League final at the expense of holders Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Protecting a first-leg 3-1 lead, Inter were forced to play more than an hour a man short after Thiago Motta saw red for a hand-off on Sergio Busquets.

But Barca failed to fire before Gerard Pique's shot set up a frantic finale.

Bojan Krkic then saw an injury-time strike ruled out, but Inter held on for a first European Cup final since 1972.

The Italian giants will now face Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu on 22 May as Mourinho attempts to lead them to European football's top prize for the first time in more than 40 years.

Barcelona's efforts to become the first team to retain the Champions League trophy, meanwhile, ended in frustration in the face of a sensationally stoic defensive show from the Italians.

Mourinho's reaction at the final whistle said it all as he sprinted around the Nou Camp pitch with his hands aloft, a pointed salute to the Barca supporters and media critics who had labelled him "The Translator" in mocking tribute to his time at the club in the 1990s.

This was further testimony to the Portuguese manager's claims to be "The Special One" as his side's tactics, belief and resolve withstood a home onslaught that saw Barca run out of ideas until Pique's goal.

Emotions and tensions were expected before kick-off to run high, but even for a Champions League semi-final this match surpassed expectations.

606: DEBATE
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An extraordinarily vocal 98,000 Nou Camp played their part, while Mourinho - so often the pantomime villain - riled the Barcelona faithful and staff alike as a constant and vocal presence on the sidelines.

But, more than that, controversy stalked the match regularly, even before Bojan's late strike was ruled out.

The replacement of winger Goran Pandev - apparently injured - with defender Christian Chivu in the Inter line-up minutes before kick-off caught everyone by surprise, while the visitors' high-pressure tactics and gamesmanship continually frustrated the hosts.

And the decision of Belgian referee Frank de Bleeckere to dismiss Motta was even more contestable.

The Brazilian, already on a booking, did indeed raise a hand when defending the ball and he certainly made contact with Busquets' face as he did so, but a straight red card appeared a harsh decision.

Motta's reaction following the dismissal, man-handling Busquets in protest, only fanned the flames of a high-octane encounter.

Amid all of the drama, the football was enthralling, if a little light on goalscoring chances.

The pattern was set early on, with Inter happy to sit deep and flood their defensive areas in protection of their first-leg lead, while the hosts' passing game was typically fluent but all too often in front of the visitors rather than in behind them.

Twice Xavi had a sight of goal but the midfielder was crowded out on both occasions, Pedro flashed an instinctive volley wide from Dani Alves' cross, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a snap-shot well blocked by Walter Samuel.

Sergio Busquets and Thiago Motta
Motta reacts to his sending-off by man-handling Busquets

The best effort of the first half by far, though, came from Messi, the Argentine's goalbound curler from 20 yards superbly tipped wide on the stretch by Inter keeper Julio Cesar.

This was a classic match-up of Inter's defence against Barca's attack, though Mourinho's side did have a brief glimpse of goal when Samuel Eto'o found himself in space in the box from Wesley Sneider's cross, only for his touch to allow Pedro to get back and clear.

The second period was even more one-sided in terms of possession, with almost the entire half played in Inter's defensive third.

But Inter looking increasingly comfortable as the likes of Messi, Pedro, Ibrahimovic and Xavi probed at their defence without success, though Bojan should have done better when he headed wide from close range.

Still, with six minutes of normal time remaining, Barcelona broke the Italians' backline for virtually the first time as Pique, arguably offside, collected Xavi's pass, turned inside defender Ivan Cordoba's challenge and slid home for a goal of which Messi himself would have been proud.

And for the first time in the match, Barcelona sensed victory.

They almost had it too when substitute Bojan broke free in the Inter box and lashed into the roof of the net in injury time.

The home supporters' unbridled joy at what would have proven a tie-winning goal was short-lived, though, as the referee had given a handball against Yaya Toure in the build-up long before.

It was a contentious decision, in keeping with some strange rulings from the officials throughout the night.

However, Inter will argue they deserved their slice of luck, and the match-up of Mourinho against Bayern boss Louis van Gaal, one of the men under whom he served his apprenticeship at Barca, provides a fascinating back-drop to what will be an hotly-contested final next month.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Barcelona 1-0 Inter Milan FT
(HT 0-0)(agg 2-3)
  • Pique 84

    Barcelona

    • 01 Valdes
    • 02 Daniel
    • 03 Pique
    • 18 Milito (Maxwell 46)
    • 06 Xavi
    • 15 Keita
    • 16 Busquets (Jeffren 63)
    • 24 Yaya Toure
    • 09 Ibrahimovic (Bojan 63)
    • 10 Messi
    • 17 Pedrito yellow card

    Substitutes

    • 13 Pinto,
    • 04 Marquez,
    • 19 Maxwell,
    • 34 Thiago,
    • 11 Bojan,
    • 14 Henry,
    • 35 Jeffren

    Inter Milan

    • 12 Julio Cesar yellow card
    • 04 Zanetti
    • 06 Lucio yellow card
    • 13 Maicon
    • 25 Samuel
    • 26 Chivu yellow card
    • 08 Motta yellow card, red card
    • 10 Sneijder (Muntari 66 yellow card)
    • 19 Cambiasso
    • 09 Eto'o (Mariaga 86)
    • 22 Milito (Cordoba 81)

    Substitutes

    • 01 Toldo,
    • 02 Cordoba,
    • 23 Materazzi,
    • 11 Muntari,
    • 17 Mariaga,
    • 45 Balotelli,
    • 89 Arnautovic
    Ref: F De BleeckereAtt: 95,000
    BARCELONA
    INTER MILAN

    Possession

    • Barcelona 76%
    • Inter Milan 24%

    Attempts on target

    • Barcelona 7
    • Inter Milan 0

    Attempts off target

    • Barcelona 9
    • Inter Milan 0

    Corners

    • Barcelona 9
    • Inter Milan 2

    Fouls

    • Barcelona 14
    • Inter Milan 12
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:23 The referee ends the match.
    • 90:00+4:04 Da Silva Dani Alves delivers the ball.
    • 90:00+3:47 Hernandez Xavi decides to take the corner short.
    • 90:00+3:30 The ball is crossed by da Silva Dani Alves, clearance made by Sisenando Maicon.
    • 90:00+2:18 Suarez Jeffren challenges McDonald Mariga unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 90:00+1:03 Krkic Bojan takes a shot. The referee gives a free kick against Gneri Toure Yaya for handball. Indirect free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 90:00+0:05 Short corner worked by Hernandez Xavi.
    • 87:32 Hernandez Xavi takes a shot. Save made by Soares Julio Cesar. Leo Messi takes a shot. Save made by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 85:16 Substitution Samuel Eto'o leaves the field to be replaced by McDonald Mariga.
    • 83:33 Hernandez Xavi provided the assist for the goal.
    • 83:33 GOAL - Gerard PiqueBarcelona 1 - 0 Inter Milan Gerard Pique scores a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Barcelona 1 (2)-(3) 0 Inter Milan.
    • 82:03 Booking The referee shows Sulley Muntari a yellow card.
    • 82:01 Booking Booking for Ferreira Lucio for unsporting behaviour.
    • Correction - 81:28 Leo Messi crosses the ball, Krkic Bojan produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 81:28 Leo Messi crosses the ball, Krkic Bojan produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 81:02 The ball is delivered by Samuel Eto'o, Victor Valdes makes a save.
    • 80:26 Substitution Ivan Ramiro Cordoba is brought on as a substitute for Diego Milito.
    • 79:46 Diego Milito is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Gerard Pique.
    • 79:18 The official flags Krkic Bojan offside. Indirect free kick taken by Sisenando Maicon.
    • 78:35 Leo Messi challenges Sulley Muntari unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 77:30 A cross is delivered by Krkic Bojan, Samuel Eto'o makes a clearance. Hernandez Xavi decides to take a short corner.
    • 76:22 Rodriguez Pedro produces a cross, blocked by Javier Zanetti. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Hernandez Xavi, Gerard Pique concedes a free kick for a foul on Ferreira Lucio. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 74:59 The ball is sent over by da Silva Dani Alves, Javier Zanetti gets a block in. Corner taken short by Hernandez Xavi.
    • 72:04 Shot by Seydou Keita from outside the box goes over the net.
    • 71:15 Outswinging corner taken by Diego Milito from the right by-line.
    • 69:36 Da Silva Dani Alves crosses the ball, clearance by Ferreira Lucio.
    • 67:38 The ball is crossed by da Silva Dani Alves, clearance made by Esteban Cambiasso.
    • 65:32 Direct free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 65:32 Substitution Sulley Muntari comes on in place of Wesley Sneijder.
    • 65:32 Rodriguez Pedro concedes a free kick for a foul on Samuel Eto'o.
    • 65:04 Outswinging corner taken by Hernandez Xavi, Ferreira Lucio makes a clearance.
    • 64:56 A cross is delivered by Rodriguez Pedro, Cristian Chivu makes a clearance.
    • 64:36 Cristian Chivu concedes a free kick for a foul on Scherer Andrade Maxwell. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Hernandez Xavi, save by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 62:11 Substitution Sergio Busquets leaves the field to be replaced by Suarez Jeffren.
    • 62:11 Substitution (Barcelona) makes a substitution, with Krkic Bojan coming on for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
    • 60:10 Effort from outside the penalty box by Rodriguez Pedro goes wide left of the target.
    • 59:03 Da Silva Dani Alves delivers the ball.
    • 58:27 Gerard Pique fouled by Diego Milito, the ref awards a free kick. Gerard Pique restarts play with the free kick.
    • 58:03 The offside flag is raised against da Silva Dani Alves. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 57:08 Gneri Toure Yaya has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.
    • 56:08 The ball is delivered by Scherer Andrade Maxwell.
    • 54:50 Da Silva Dani Alves has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
    • 54:26 The ball is crossed by Seydou Keita, blocked by Esteban Cambiasso. Inswinging corner taken by Hernandez Xavi from the left by-line, clearance by Ferreira Lucio.
    • 53:40 Centre by Hernandez Xavi, save by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 52:32 Free kick awarded for a foul by Seydou Keita on Ferreira Lucio. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 51:43 Da Silva Dani Alves produces a cross.
    • 49:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sisenando Maicon by Sergio Busquets. Sisenando Maicon takes the free kick.
    • 49:03 The ball is swung over by Rodriguez Pedro, clearance by Javier Zanetti.
    • 48:36 The ball is sent over by Rodriguez Pedro, save by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 47:16 The referee blows for offside against da Silva Dani Alves. Indirect free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
    • 45:01 Substitution Gabriel Milito goes off and Scherer Andrade Maxwell comes on.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:08 The half-time whistle blows.
    • 45:00+1:32 Shot from just outside the area by Gneri Toure Yaya misses to the right of the target.
    • 45:00+1:10 A cross is delivered by Gneri Toure Yaya.
    • 45:00+0:29 Cristian Chivu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sergio Busquets. Free kick crossed left-footed by Leo Messi, Sisenando Maicon makes a clearance.
    • 44:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Diego Milito on Seydou Keita. Free kick taken by Gabriel Milito.
    • 42:47 Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
    • 42:47 Booking Cristian Chivu shown a yellow card.
    • 42:42 Cristian Chivu challenges Leo Messi unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 40:37 Cristian Chivu fouled by Leo Messi, the ref awards a free kick. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 39:38 Samuel Eto'o challenges Leo Messi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Leo Messi from right wing, Zlatan Ibrahimovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Ferreira Lucio. Soares Julio Cesar takes the direct free kick.
    • 38:47 Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes a shot. Ferreira Lucio gets a block in.
    • 35:44 A cross is delivered by da Silva Dani Alves, Ferreira Lucio manages to make a clearance.
    • 34:28 Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 34:28 Booking The referee shows Soares Julio Cesar a yellow card.
    • 33:52 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wesley Sneijder by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
    • 32:49 Rodriguez Pedro delivers the ball.
    • 32:00 Leo Messi takes a shot from 18 yards. Save by Soares Julio Cesar. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Leo Messi.
    • 31:13 Rodriguez Pedro delivers the ball, blocked by Sisenando Maicon.
    • 30:49 Da Silva Dani Alves delivers the ball.
    • 30:08 Wesley Sneijder gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hernandez Xavi. Hernandez Xavi takes the free kick.
    • 29:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Diego Milito by Rodriguez Pedro. Sisenando Maicon takes the free kick.
    • 27:38 Seydou Keita restarts play with the free kick.
    • 27:38 Sent off Thiago Motta dismissed for serious foul play.
    • 27:04 Foul by Thiago Motta on Sergio Busquets, free kick awarded.
    • 26:33 Wesley Sneijder takes the direct free kick.
    • 26:33 Booking Booking for Rodriguez Pedro.
    • 26:22 Rodriguez Pedro gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Samuel Eto'o.
    • 26:14 The ball is sent over by Rodriguez Pedro, Cristian Chivu manages to make a clearance.
    • 26:11 Da Silva Dani Alves delivers the ball.
    • 25:01 The referee blows for offside against Wesley Sneijder. Victor Valdes takes the free kick.
    • 24:16 Outswinging corner taken by Wesley Sneijder from the right by-line, Seydou Keita makes a clearance.
    • 23:05 Seydou Keita concedes a free kick for a foul on Sisenando Maicon. Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 22:25 Centre by da Silva Dani Alves, Rodriguez Pedro has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 21:21 Da Silva Dani Alves produces a cross.
    • 20:03 Diego Milito delivers the ball, comfortable save by Victor Valdes.
    • 18:04 Zlatan Ibrahimovic is adjudged to have handled the ball. Soares Julio Cesar takes the free kick.
    • 17:41 Gerard Pique fouled by Diego Milito, the ref awards a free kick. Gerard Pique takes the free kick.
    • 16:47 Diego Milito is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Gerard Pique restarts play with the free kick.
    • 16:16 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
    • 15:13 Gerard Pique gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Diego Milito. Free kick taken by Wesley Sneijder.
    • 14:03 Rodriguez Pedro crosses the ball, Ferreira Lucio makes a clearance.
    • 13:12 Leo Messi takes a shot. Walter Samuel gets a block in.
    • 9:25 The free kick is delivered left-footed by Leo Messi from right channel, free kick awarded for a foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Ferreira Lucio. Soares Julio Cesar takes the direct free kick.
    • 9:25 Booking Thiago Motta is shown a yellow card.
    • 9:10 Foul by Thiago Motta on da Silva Dani Alves, free kick awarded.
    • 7:10 Foul by Esteban Cambiasso on Leo Messi, free kick awarded. Hernandez Xavi takes the free kick.
    • 6:08 The referee blows for offside against Diego Milito. Gerard Pique restarts play with the free kick.
    • 5:24 The ball is delivered by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
    • 4:07 Corner taken right-footed by Hernandez Xavi, Thiago Motta makes a clearance.
    • 2:43 Rodriguez Pedro has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
    • 0:49 Unfair challenge on Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Javier Zanetti results in a free kick. Hernandez Xavi delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.
    • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Champions League results

    28 Apr 2010 23:59 UK


    see also
    Mourinho revels in 'greatest' win
    29 Apr 10 |  Europe
    Barcelona v Inter Milan as it happened
    28 Apr 10 |  Football
    Champions League photos
    28 Apr 10 |  Football
    Mourinho taunts 'obsessed' Barca
    27 Apr 10 |  Europe
    Mourinho enjoys Barcelona revenge
    20 Apr 10 |  Europe
    Inter Milan 3-1 Barcelona
    20 Apr 10 |  Europe
    Clash of the Titans
    19 Apr 10 |  Europe
    The making of Mourinho
    28 Apr 10 |  Europe
    Guardiola the conqueror
    28 Apr 10 |  Europe


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