FC Barcelona arrive at the San Siro with chance and the intention to progress to the Champions League knock-out rounds. To achieve this, they must be very careful with a key aspect of the Italian side this season: the ability to score decisive goals in the last quarter of an hour.
Luciano Spalletti’s team have scored 11 of their 25 goals (2 of 4 in Champions League, 9 of 21 in Serie A) in the last quarter of an hour of the matches, many of them even in stoppage time.
Tottenham Hotspur can attest to that (2-1). Mauricio Pochettino saw Mauro Icardi (86') and Matías Vecino (90' + 2') overturn Christian Eriksen's goal (53').
Inter could not overcome the 2-0 at Camp Nou, but PSV went 1-0 up through Pablo Rosario (27'), although the goals of Nainggolan (44') and Icardi (60'), turned things around - albeit relatively early by Inter standards.
In Serie A, Inter has bagged many goals in the final stages of the matches.
Perhaps the most obvious example, thanks to its importance, is the strike at 90' + 2' by Mauro Icardi to knock down rivals AC Milan (1-0) in the derby.
His teammate Marcelo Brozovic had already done the same in the visit to Sampdoria, scoring the goal to make it 0-1 at 90'+ 4'. Icardi netted the winner at SPAL (1-2) in the 78th minute.
The 2-1 win against Fiorentina saw Danilo D'Ambrosio hit the winner in the 77th minute, and the 2-0 against Cagliari was made safe by Matteo Politano in the 89th minute.
Even in the thrashings, Inter remain true to their tradition of taking advantage in the final stages to score: Against Bologna (0-3) Candrva (82 ') and Perisic (85’) found the net in the last quarter of an hour and against Genoa (5-0), the duel prior to the visit of Barça tonight, Joao Mario (90 + 1) and Nainggolan (90 + 4) completed the ‘manita’.
Barça should take into account another detail: In 14 official games this season, they have only been defeated by Barça (2-0), Sassuolo (1-0) and Parma (0-1). However they have kept just six clean sheets.