Two goals from Luiz Suarez ensured the survival of FC Barcelona after they conceded an early goal and struggled all through the first half against an Inter Milan side that proved very difficult to break down.
All eyes were on Leo Messi, back in the starting XI after recovering from injury, but it was another Argentine, Lautaro Martínez, who was quickest to make his mark.
He pounced on a stray pass in midfield, darted goalward and slotted the ball under Ter Stegen to put the Italians in command after just two minutes.
By half-time, Barça led the shot count 9-6, but the stats hide the truth. The home side were very much against the ropes, and it was the Italians who were creating all the danger.
They are the side that’s won six out of six in Serie A this season, and they were showing the Camp Nou why. Lautaro was the biggest headache, and Barça could only thank their stars (and a phenomenal Ter Stegen) that he didn’t add to the Inter tally.
Barça were bossing the possession game too, but getting the ball to places where the frontmen could truly pierce Antonio Conte’s rigid defence was proving very difficult indeed.
Barça needed to find some magic somewhere. And they found it on the end of Luis Suárez’s right foot.
Arturo Vidal sent a floating pass to the Uruguayan lurking in the penalty arc, and… Pow! No control from Suárez, he went straight for the volley and it was an absolute humdinger.
Suddenly the match overturned. Barça were oozing all the confidence that Inter had before, and with the inertia in their favour the chances started flowing.
Inter weathered that storm and gradually managed to take the bite out of the game.
In a flash, Messi was dancing his way through the Inter pack and then picked out Suárez with the perfect pass – He rounded Diego Godin to finish off the job.