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Barcelona through to Champions League last 16 despite Icardi leveler

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Milan, Nov 7:  Barcelona qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League despite Mauro Icardi snatching a late 1-1 draw for Inter Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday.

Ice cold Icardi struck with his first shot of the match in the 87th minute to grab a draw from a match Barcelona dominated from the start, just four minutes after a neat curling strike from substitute Malcom gave the away side a fully deserved lead.

“We played the best team in the world and they scored a typical Barcelona goal, but we never gave up, we kept fighting,” Icardi told Sky Sport Italia.

“We didn’t give up after they scored and fortunately the ball bounced to me… there was a bit of luck that the ball arrived there.” The Argentine pounced in a goalmouth scramble, spinning and firing home from close range, and rewarding a brilliant performance from keeper Samir Handanovic that kept Inter in a game they in which they struggled to get a foothold.

“We could not clear a silly ball inside the area and we paid for it,” said Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets.

“I think we have deserved more. we were more ambitious and we dominated the whole game.”

Barca, without injured Lionel Messi, were left to lament throwing away three points from a game in which they created more than enough chances to win but couldn’t get past the superb Slovenia international in the Inter goal.

“I think Barcelona played far better than us and we could’ve done more. They came forward too easily in the first half and when you leave them possession constantly, you are going to be pinned back,” said Handanovic.

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