Barcelona through to Champions League last 16 despite Mauro Icardi leveller

Spalletti If Inter Milan prepared like Barcelona we'd lose 18-0

Barcelona qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Perhaps it will depend on how much Barca need him and, in that respect, messi's absence has been less pronounced than many predicted 15 days ago when he tumbled and broke his right arm against Sevilla.

Ernesto Valverde confirmed after the game that he could not risk Messi in the fixture, a decision that the 31-year-old understood.

"It was a decision shared by the team".

As Barcelona ready themselves to face Italian club Inter Milan on Tuesday (Wednesday in Pakistan as the game would begin at 1am), we take a look at Messi's goals against Italian clubs in European competitions throughout his career.

"I want to play more", he said.

However, in football, you never know.

Messi still travelled for the game to show his support for his teammates.

More crucially, key players have delivered while others, less prominent, have stepped up.

Barcelona sparked confusion by omitting Messi from the original squad list for the game published on social media, only to amend it minutes later with their captain included.

Malcom cried tears of joy after scoring against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday but his emotions must have marked relief too after a hard start at Barcelona.

Inter struggled to string passes together under the weight of Barca's pressing, and Handanovic had to be at his best to stop fine efforts from Luis Suarez and former Inter player Philippe Coutinho putting the away side ahead before the break.

However, Messi made a decision to train alone at Ciutat Esportiva in a bid to be fully fit for their match against Betis. "When he recovers, we will be even better".

He added: "We'll have to secure first place in the next two games. That said, I do like to see him on the pitch as he's a joy to watch".

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