Champions League

Retro Report: Mourinho the mastermind as 10-man Inter reach final at Barcelona’s expense

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Mourinho and Eto'o, Barcelona v Inter

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ByMichael Hincks
28/04/2020 at 19:50 | Updated 28/04/2020 at 21:17

On this day in 2010, Inter took a 3-1 lead to Barcelona with a place in the Champions League final on the line. Re-live the action with our retro report...

A defensive masterclass from Jose Mourinho saw Inter Milan edge out holders Barcelona and reach the Champions League final 3-2 on aggregate.

Defending a 3-1 lead heading to the Nou Camp, Inter’s mission to reach a first European Cup final since 1972 took a turn for the worse when Thiago Motta was shown a controversial red for handing off Sergio Busquets in the 28th minute.


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Busquet’s theatrical moment was followed by arguably Mourinho’s finest hour on the European stage, with Inter reducing Barca to a solitary Gerard Pique goal in the 84th minute.

Motta catches Busquets, Barcelona v Inter

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It was Bojan Krkic’s disallowed goal in injury time which ultimately ended Barcelona’s dream of defending their title on enemy territory, with Inter now set to meet Bayern Munich in the May 22 showpiece at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium.

For Mourinho, who sprinted across the Nou Camp turf at the sound of the full-time whistle, it will be the chance for a first Champions League trophy since steering Porto to glory in 2004, while treble-chasing Inter - who celebrated while the sprinklers turned on prematurely at the Nou Camp - are looking to end a 45-year wait to lift the greatest prize in European football.

Sprinklers at the Nou Camp, Barcelona v Inter

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Mourinho’s ‘greatest defeat’ - Barcelona had beaten Inter 2-0 at the Nou Camp earlier this season during the group stage, a scoreline that would have been enough to reach the final on away goals this time around. However, this was an Inter side buoyed by their clean sheets on the road in the last 16 and quarter-finals, and in total belief of Mourinho’s tactics. At times, Samuel Eto’o was at left-back, there was a six-man defensive line, but it was all for the common cause. Against the odds, it was the team with just 14% possession into the final.

Mourinho went on to call it his “greatest defeat”, adding: "It is a style of blood not skill. When the moment of leaving everything on the pitch arrives, you don't leave the skill you leave the blood.

"We were a team of heroes. We sweated blood. It's a pity I could not play because I have got the same blood. I have already won a Champions League but today was even better."

Mourinho and Messi, Barcelona v Inter

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Lucio (Inter) – The Brazilian typified everything Mourinho wanted to see from his players. Resolute defending, some more resolute defending, and shades of gamesmanship too. All of Inter’s defenders, and particularly goalkeeper Julio Cesar, wasted time when they could, but the simple matter is, the more Barca have the ball at their feet, the more likely they are to score. A brusing display from Lucio, and the whole team, ensured Barca rarely felt settled.


Barcelona: Valdes 6, Dani Alves 7, Pique 7, Milito 6, Xavi 7, Keita 6, Busquets 6, Toure 5, Ibrahimovic 5, Messi 6, Pedro 6. Subs: Maxwell 6, Jeffren 6, Bojan 6

Inter: Julio Cesar 8, Zanetti 8, Lucio 9, Maicon 8, Samuel 9, Chivu 8, Motta 5, Sneijder 7, Cambiasso 7, Eto'o 9, Milito 7. Subs: Muntari 6, Cordoba N/A, Mariaga N/A


28' - RED CARD! He was booked earlier… but Motta has now been shown a straight red! He catches Busquets with a trailing arm but that’s never a sending off… he was just trying to hand off the Barca midfielder – Motta barely caught him! But Busquets’ theatrics have paid off.

Motta sent off, Barcelona v Inter

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33' - WHAT A SAVE! That is stunning from Julio Cesar, who is at full stretch to get a palm to Messi’s 20-yard strike. Looked destined for the bottom corner.

83' - BIG MISS! How has that not gone in?? Messi’s inch-perfect cross is met by Bojan six yards out, but somehow he heads wide!

84' - GOAL! PIQUE GIVES BARCA HOPE! What a beauty this is… it was worth throwing Pique up front after all. He looks offside when receiving the ball, but nevertheless, his turn is superb to sell Cordoba down the river. Julio Cesar follows his defender into the water and Pique taps the ball into the empty net. Game on… one more Barca goal and they’re into the final!

90+1' - GOAL…. BUT IT’S DISALLOWED! Barcelona think they have the all-important second goal, but Bojan’s goal will not count! Toure is deemed to have handballed it in the build-up! Very harsh – it was more ball to hand – if handball at all looking at the replays - after it ricocheted off the Ivorian and fell to Bojan, who finished superbly but the whistle had already gone.

Full-time! Inter are through to the final... and I don’t think I’ve seen scenes like this for some time…. Mourinho sprints onto the pitch to celebrate, pointing one finger as he sprints presumably towards the Inter fans. Barca players are on the floor in disbelief, Inter players are on the floor in jubilation, and now Valdes is confronting Mourinho! Incredible scenes.

Valdes confronts Mourinho, Barcelona v Inter

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FootballChampions LeagueInternazionaleFC Barcelona
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