3rd October, 2019
Barcelona came from behind to eventually subdue Inter Milan 2-1 Wednesday night in a Champions League match played at Camp Nou mainly due to the hard work put into the the game by Messi and Suarez.
It is therefore not surprising that the team’s head coach Ernesto Valverde has come out to openly praise the impact of Lionel Messi in the club’s Champions League win over Inter.
The Barca captain Lionel Messi, returned from an injury that has kept him away from most of this season’s matches to help LaLiga champions Barcelona to a 2-1 victory against Inter at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
It was just his second start of the season, having missed the Getafe trip due to a thigh injury sustained against Villarreal, and he set up Luis Suarez for the 84th-minute winner.
Talking about Messi’s performance in a post-match session, Valverde told reporters: “It is the first game that he has played in full, also a game with a significant physical burden on the opponent and the competition.
“In any play he can help you even when he is tired. Messi has not done a pre-season like the others, so he has to catch up.”Barcelona
The captain was at the centre of Barca’s match-winner, with the five-time Ballon d’Or champion finding Suarez on the edge of the box as his Uruguayan team-mate slotted home six minutes from the end.
Valverde added: “In the end he made a fantastic play, but he was more tired than at the beginning.”
Messi’s strike partner Luis Suarez, used this match to silence his critics with a brace – making it three goals in two games – as Barca found their way past Antonio Conte’s Inter on home soil.
The beginning of the game itself was not as planned by Barcelona as Lautaro Martinez quickly silenced the crowd with his second-minute opener for Inter Milan.
However, Barcelona’s hit man Suarez restored parity approaching the hour mark before getting his team’s Group F campaign up and running following their goalless draw in their first match of the competition at Borussia Dortmund.
“Strikers live in the danger zone,” Valverde said. “They play in the most difficult area as they are always surrounded by defenders and need to solve the situations against the defenders they have onto them, so that is hard.
“Sometimes you cannot succeed, like one week ago, but then he scored once in La Liga and twice in the Champions League. Luis has proved for long time already what he is capable of, so he keeps doing so.”
Barcelona have struggled to convince their fans this season amid growing pressure on Valverde and the Spanish boss added: “Of course this is an important win as it was a very important game, given how tight the group table was after the first match-day and also for the upcoming games.
“From the very first minute you all saw how important this game was for both teams given the intensity we both showed. For us, after drawing our first match playing a not-too-good game, I hope this comeback will help us for the upcoming fixtures.”