Before the Catalan giants faced the Milanese side there were discussions as to how the Spanish side were going to cope without Messi who was injured. But such talks now look foolish at best as Barca put on a spectacle which reminded doubters how good this team is even without Messi.
Possession was the order of the day as Inter barely got a kick of the ball. Sergio Busquets was the orchestrator in the middle of the park dictating his team’s play. Indeed the Nerazzurri’s midfield put in a solid shift but you wonder what might have been had Luciano Spalletti have the option of playing Radja Nainggolan instead of the less forceful Borja Valero.
If Busquets was the orchestrator, then Luis Suarez was the provider as his pass to Rafinha was simply majestic allowing the Brazilian to score against his former club. But it wasn’t just the familiar faces in Busquets and Suarez whom delighted the crowd at the Camp Nou.
Barca’s new boys Arthur Melo and Clement Lenglet were also equally impressive. Arthur’s display in midfield was reminiscent of Andres Iniesta especially with his quick turns and high technical ability. Valero struggled against him and was eventually subbed off as he couldn’t live with the pace of the Brazilian.
While Arthur shone in midfield, Lenglet showed his defensive prowess as he ensured Mauro Icardi’s return to Barcelona was a quiet one. Inter’s captain would later admit post-game how his side just wasn’t good enough.
Barca are surely favourites to win this group now but it’s frightening for opponents to think how much talent there is in their team. Even without Messi, they are a force to be reckoned with.