Goal.com rates the performers as the Italian champions secured a significant first-leg advantage...INTER
Cesar – 7.0: Only required to pick the ball out of the net in the first half, but his point-blank save from Sergio Busquets when the score was 2-1 could prove to be a vital moment in this tie.
Maicon – 7.0: A bizarre decision at the opening goal saw the Brazilian step into no-man’s land, allowing Maxwell a free run in on goal. But, he provided the perfect response, showing splendid technique to flick the ball past Valdes.
Lucio – 7.5: Up against Ibrahimovic, it was testament to the assurance of the former Bayern Munich stopper that the Swede barely got a kick in the entire evening. Another solid and dependable display from the centre-half.
Samuel – 7.5: Has built a coherent understanding with Lucio as the tournament has progressed, and barely put a foot wrong all evening, although the static Ibrahimovic made his work easier in truth. Fantastic block denied Pedro as Barcelona went in hunt for a response.
Zanetti – 8.0: The veteran was a tower of strength in the closing stages as Barcelona pressed, and used all of his experience to guide his side to a famous result. The 36-year old showed the industry and drive of a man half his age, and was a true inspiration.
Cambiasso – 7.5: Perhaps gave up too easily in his pursuit of Maxwell for the opening goal, but dragged his side from the doldrums to play an integral part in the comeback. He broke up the play when Inter were superior, and offered a strong defensive shield to his back four as they drifted deeper into their own territory.
Motta – 7.0: Slotted in alongside Cambiasso and attempted to be link between defence and attack, but on many occasion needlessly surrendered the ball back to Barcelona. However, he stayed close to Messi as he drifted infield, and was instrumental in the diminutive forward having a reasonably quiet evening.
Sneijder – 8.0: The former Real Madrid winger came back to haunt Barcelona, keeping his head to net a vital equaliser, and the Dutchman was as ever looking to devise openings for the strike pairing of Milito and Eto’o. A typically offensive run helped Milito net number three.
Eto’o – 7.5: Operated from a right-forward role, and his powerful running and direct nature upset Puyol and Pique, who did not enjoy the constant attentions of the Cameroonian. Provided the cross from which Sneijder eventually levelled things up, and was also heavily involved in Milito’s crucial third.
Milito – 8.5: The prolific front-man bounced back from squandering a first-half chance to play a pivotal role as Inter clawed their way back into the match. He showed awareness to lay a perfect pass to Sneijder for the equalising goal, and he also sent through Maicon for Inter’s second. His close-range header for the third rounded off a wonderful night’s work.
Pandev – 6.5: The former Lazio star gave Alves a difficult evening, constantly harassing him, and refusing to allow him to settle. His driving runs on the left always gave his midfielders an out-ball, but was replaced just-after the interval by Dejan Stankovic.
Stankovic – 5.0: Replaced Pandev to shore up the midfield.
Balotelli – 4.5: On for the closing stages.
Chivu – 4.5: Replaced the injured Maicon.
Valdes – 6.0: Looked nervy when pushing away an early Eto’o chance, and despite being exposed for Sneijder’s equaliser, may feel he could perhaps have done better to block the shot. Helpless at the second and third goals.
Alves – 5.5: Not the Brazilian’s best evening. He was wasteful in attack and was dragged infield allowing Sneijder time and space to slot home the equaliser. His booking for simulation summed up his night.
Puyol – 6.5: Picked up a booking for a blatant bodycheck on Milito that rules him out of the second leg, and the Argentine worked the experienced defender with intelligent running. Not the most secure of performances from the usually adept Spanish international.
Pique – 6.5: Camped in the Inter half as he tried to grab a vital goal, but could not convert, and never looked comfortable in the face of the movement of Eto’o and Milito.
Maxwell – 6.0: Superb, lung-bursting run took him into an ideal position to set up Pedro’s opening goal, but all three of Inter’s goals originated from his side of the pitch, and he will disappointed he allowed Eto’o the time and space to set up the first and third goal.
Xavi – 6.5: As ever, the man Barcelona looked to, to play the killer pass, and his ability to keep possession and provide slide-rule passes was in evidence on more that one occasion. However, he became increasingly frustrated as the match progressed, and he was unable to exert the influence he is normally capable of.
Busquets – 5.5: The young Spaniard appeared looked out of his depth on occasions this evening, and he was simply unable to track Sneijder’s telling contributions. Missed a guilt-edged chance to equaliser when the score was 2-1, and his miss could prove pivotal in the tie.
Keita – 6.0: Employed to add some steel to midfield and settled well, but was out-fought in key moments when Inter were at their most vibrant, and did not produce enough of an attacking threat, nor protect his defence suitably.
Messi – 6.5: Closely monitored by both Motta and Cambiasso, who strangled his space in the gap between the midfield and Ibrahimovic, and as a result he was forced to fend on scraps in wide areas and long range efforts on goal.
Ibrahimovic – 4.0: Was he fit? Ibra had only played ten minutes of football since the first leg versus Arsenal in the quarter-finals, and it showed; the Swede was a yard behind the pace of play, and did not show anything like the level of movement required to keep Barcelona flowing.
Pedro – 6.5: Beautifully neat finish to open the scoring set the tone for an good display from the industrious young winger, but was caught napping at Sneijder’s equaliser as he refused to get back to help his defenders.
Abidal – 5.0: Replaced Ibrahimovic as Guardiola shuffled his side.
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