Inter edge Barça amid controversy; Liverpool cruise past Rangers

Sports Desk, Oct 4 (EFE).- Inter Milan edged FC Barcelona 1-0 in Champions League Group C action Tuesday thanks to a goal by Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, although the contest was marred by two controversial decisions that benefited the Italian side.

Elsewhere, Liverpool defeated Rangers 2-0 to move into sole possession of second place in Group A.

Barcelona dominated the ball at San Siro against an Inter team that has been struggling in Serie A, but their lengthy possessions did not translate into clear scoring opportunities.

Inter, meanwhile, waited for their chances to strike on the counterattack and nearly did so in the seventh minute on a shot by Calhanoglu that forced Barcelona goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Another chance for the hosts came later in the first half when Joaquin Correa was ruled offside in a one-on-one chance against the Barça netminder.

But Inter finally took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Calhanoglu received a pass from well outside the area and scooted a low blast just inside the left post past Ter Stegen.

Barcelona, however, became more dangerous after the break.

Ousmane Dembele hit the left upright on a shot in the 61st minute and then the visitors appeared to score the equalizer in the 67th minute when Pedri put the ball in the back of the net after a failed clearance by Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana.

The goal was wiped out though when a VAR review showed Barca’s Ansu Fati had touched the ball with his hand before it ended up at Pedri’s feet.

The visitors protested that call but were even more livid when a VAR review of what seemed like a clear handball in the area by Inter defender Denzel Dumfries in the 90th minute determined that he had committed no infraction.

“I’m outraged. The referee needs to explain why he didn’t blow the whistle. He hasn’t explained it to me. That’s why I think it’s unfair,” Barcelona head coach Xavi said just shortly after the match.

Inter’s win lifted the Italian side into sole possession of second place in Group C with six points, while Barcelona have just three points (six behind leader Bayern Munich) and will be in desperate need of a win when they host Inter next week.

In Group A action Tuesday in Anfield, Liverpool moved into second place (six points) with a convincing 2-0 win over Rangers.

The Reds jumped in front against the Scottish side in the seventh minute on a curving free kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold that hooked just inside the left upright.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor then made a series of saves over the final 12 minutes of the first half, with the 40-year-old veteran denying a couple of attempts by Darwin Nuñez and saving a shot by Luis Diaz.

Liverpool’s superiority and constant pressure continued in the second half, with Diaz winning a penalty with a drive into the area in the 52nd minute and Mohamed Salah converting from the penalty spot a few moments later.

In other Champions League round-robin action on Tuesday, Bayern Munich routed Viktoria Plzen 5-0 in Group C, Marseille eased past Sporting Lisbon 4-1 in Group D, Porto downed Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 in Group B, Club Brugge stunned Atletico Madrid 2-0 in Group B, Napoli pummeled Ajax 6-1 in Group A, and Eintracht Frankfurt and Tottenham played to a scoreless draw in Group D. EFE


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