Barcelona conceded a late equaliser against Inter in Tuesday night's Champions League game, as Malcom late's goal off the bench was not enough to earn victory for the Catalonian giants.
Ernesto Valverde's team dominated proceedings against the Italian giants but could not make their dominance count as they struggled to create chances. Having finally opened the scoring through Malcom in the 83rd minute, Barcelona could not hold on as Mauro Icardi equalised for Inter close to stoppage time.
However, Barcelona guaranteed their passage into the next round despite dropping two points, and Valverde was pleased with his side's performance and the resulting qualification.
“It was a great game. Our primary target was to qualify," he said to Barcelona's official website.
“We played well in every aspect. We pressed well, we attacked well, all that was missing was a little bit more accuracy over the final metres.”
Barcelona's summer signing, Malcom, has endured a rough start to his career in Spain having struggled for game time thus far. Having come on as a substitute and scored, the Brazilian's relief was clear to see and Valverde has expressed his delight for the attacker.
"We’re all so happy for Malcom. He had the finish that we had been missing at other times in the game. He has been working hard to get better every day. He’s still young and there’s a lot of margin for improvement.”
Having dominated the game for so long, conceding such a late goal was a tough blow for Barcelona, and Valverde explained that he knew it could happen: “That’s the thing about Inter. They are very good at controlling the last few minutes of a game and because of that we have missed out on securing top spot in the group.”
Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Inter has guaranteed them qualification into the last 16 of the Champions League, but the top spot is not a given just yet. Therefore, Barça's next Champions League fixture against PSV holds some importance as a victory for the Catalonian side would seal them the first place in the group with a game to spare.